■ ■ ■ : •
DAVID O. MCKAY LIBRARY
mil mill mi nil in
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Brigham Young University-Idaho
WILLIAM J. JACKMAN
JACOB H. PATTON ROSSITER JOHNSON
JOHN LORD ROGER SHERMAN
THEODORE ROOSEVELT JOHN HAY
GEO. F. HOAR HERBERT WELCH
JAMES BRYCE GEO. WM. CURTIS
GROVER CLEVELAND HENRY W. GRADY
CHAS. A. DANA JOHN H. VINCENT
HORACE PORTER HENRY CABOT LODGE
BENJ. F. TRACY, and others
Edition de Luxe
KENNETH GAYNOR, Publisher
Copyright, 1915, by
THE HAMMING-WHITMAN COMPANY
MISSIONS AND SETTLEMENTS IN NEW FRANCE.
The Immigrants, 240. The Jesuits; their zeal as Teachers and
Explorers, 241. The Chief Ahasistari, 242. The Five Nations,
or Iroquois, 243. Father Joques, 244. The Abenakis; Dreuil-
ettes, 245. French Settlers at Oswego — Father Allouez, 246.
James Marquette — The Mississippi, 247. La Salle, 248. His
Enterprise; his failure and Tragical End, 250.
MARAUDING EXPEDITIONS; SETTLEMENT OF LOUISIANA; CAPTURE OF
Mohawks Hostile to the French, 252. Dover Attacked; Major
Waldron, 253. Schenectady burned — the inhuman Frontenac,
254. The Colonists act for themselves — Invasion of Canada,
255. Heroism of Hannah Dustin, 256. Deerfield taken; Eu-
nice Williams, 257. D'Ibberville plants a Colony on the Pas-
cagoula, 259. Trading Posts on the Illinois and the Missis-
sippi, 260. The Choctaws, 261. Destruction of the Natchez,
262. Attempts to subdue the Chickasaws, 263. King George's
War; Capture of Louisburg, ,264f. The English Ministry
alarmed, 266. Jonathan Edwards — The '* Great Revival/'
267. Princeton College, 268.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.
The Valley of the Ohio— French and English Claimants, 269.
Gist, the Pioneer, 270. George Washington, 271. His Char-
acter — His Mission to the French on the Alleghany, 273. St.
Pierre's Letter unsatisfactory, 275. Fort du Quesne built —
Washington sent to defend the Frontiers, 276. T^he first Con-
flict of the War — Fort Necessity, 277. British Troops arrive
in America, 278. Plan of Operations — General Braddock, 279.
The Army on the March — Captain Jack, 280. The Battle of
Monongahela, 282. Death and Burial of Braddock, 284. Dun-
bar's Panic— The Effects of these Events. 285.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR — CONTINUED.
The French Aeadiens, 288. Their Industry and good Morals, 289.
Their Mournful Exile, 290. Expedition against Crown Point,
292. The English Defeated— Death of Colonel Williams, 293.
Repulse of the French — Death of Dieskau — Williams College,
294. Kittaning destroyed, 295. Montcalm Acts with Energy,
297. Fort William Henry taken, 298. Canada Exhausted,
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR — CONTINUED.
William Pitt, Prime Minister, 300. Lord Amherst — Plan of Op-
erations — Louisburg captured, 301. English Repulsed — Fort
Frontenac captured, 302. Washington takes Possession of
Fort du Quesne, 303. Pittsburg, 304. The French abandon
Ticonderoga, 305. Wolfe before Quebec, 306. The Battle on
the Heights of Abraham, 308. Deaths of Wolfe and Mont-
calm — their Memories, 309. Quebec Capitulates — Cherokee
War, 310. Destruction of their Crops and Villages, 312. Pon-
tiac, 313. Desolations along the Frontiers, 314. General Bou-
quet, 315. Pontiac's Death, 316.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COLONISTS.
Religious Influences among the early Settlers, 317. Love of do-
mestic Life, 318. Laws enjoining Morality, 319. Systems of
Education; Common Schools, 320. Free Inquiry and Civil
Liberty, 321. John Calvin — The Anglo-Saxon Element; the
Norman, 322. The Southerner; the Northerner — Influences in
Pennsylvania, 323. In New York — Diversity of Ancestry, 324.
CAUSES THAT LED TO THE REVOLUTION.
Restrictions on Trade and Manufactures — Taxes Imposed by Par-
liament, 326. Writs of Assistance, 327. James Otis — Samuel
Adams, 328. The "Parsons' " Case in Virginia — Patrick
Henry, 329. Colonel Barre's Speech— The Stamp Act, 331.
Excitement in the Colonies — Resolutions not to use Stamps,
333. "Sons of Liberty," 334. A Call for a Congress; it
Meets, 335. Self-Denial of the Colonists, 336. Stamp Act
repealed — Rejoicings, 337.
CAUSES THAT LED TO THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
The English Ministry determine to obtain a Revenue, 339. The
Sloop Liberty — A British Regiment at Boston. 341. Articles
of Association proposed by Washington, 342. Tax upon Tea,
343. The Gaspe captured, 344. The Resolutions not to receive
the Tea, 345. Tea Thrown into Boston Harbor — Its Recep-
tion at other Places, 347. Boston Port Bill — Aid Sent to
Boston, 348. Gage's Difficulties, 349. Alexander Hamilton,
350. The Old Continental Congress— The first Prayer, 351.
The Papers issued by the Congress, 353.
BEGINNING OP THE REVOLUTION.
The Spirit of the People, 355. They seize Guns and Ammunition,
356. The Massachusetts Provincial Congress; its Measures,
357. The Restraining Bill, 358. Conflicts at Lexington and
Concord, 359. Volunteers fly to Arms, and Beleaguer Boston
— Stark — Putnam, 361. Benedict Arnold — Ethan Allen, and
the Green Mountain Boys, 362. Capture of Ticonderoga, 363.
Lord Dunmore in Virginia — Henry and the Independent Com-
panies, 364. The News from Lexington rouses a Spirit of Re-
sistance, 365. The Second Continental Congress, 367. Its
Measures, 368. Adopts the Army, and appoints Washington
THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.
Battle of Bunker Hill, 372. Death of Warren — General Charles
Lee and Philip Schuyler, 377. State of Affairs in New York
— Sir William Johnson, 378. Condition of the Army, 379.
Nathaniel Greene — Morgan and his Riflemen, 380. Wants of
the Army, 381. Expedition against Canada, 382. Richard
Montgomery — Allen's Rash Adventure, 383. Montreal cap-
tured — Arnold's toilsome March to Quebec, 384. That place
besieged, 385. Failure to Storm the Town — Death of Mont-
gomery, 386. Arnold in his icy Fortress, 387.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
Meeting of Congress — Alarming evils, 388. Portland burned —
Efforts to defend the Coast, 389. Parliment resolves to crush
the Rebels, 390. Henry Knox, 391. Provincial Prejudices —
Success of the Privateers; British Theatricals; Union Flag,
393. Affairs in New York — Rivington's Gazette, 394. Gov-
ernor Tryon — General Lee in the City, 395. Dunmore 's Meas-
ures — Norfork burned, 396. Defeat of North Carolina Tories,
397. Cannon and powder obtained, 398. Dorchester Heights
fortified — Boston evacuated, 400. Washington in New York,
402. Numerous Disasters — Retreat from Canada, 403. Ho-
ratio Gates, 404. A British Fleet before Fort Moultrie, 405.
Stormy Prospects, 407.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
Independence, Influences in favor of, 409. The Tories — Common
Sense, 410. The Declaration; its Reception by the People and
Army, 412. Arrival of Admiral Howe, 413. His Overtures,
414. The American Army — Sectional Jealousies, 415. The
Clintons, 416. Battle of Long Island, 417. The Masterly Re-
treat, 420. Incidents, 421. Howe confers with a Committee of
Congress, 422. Nathan Hale, 423. The British at Kipp 's Bay,
424. New York Evacuated, 425. Conflict at White Plains,
426. Loss of Fort Washington, 428. Retreat across New
Jersey, 429. Waywardness of Lee, 430.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION CONTINUED.
Discouragements — Howe's Proclamation, 431. Affairs on Lake
Champlain, 432. Heroism of Arnold, 433. Capture of Lee,
435. Battle of Trenton, 437. Battle of Princeton, 443.
Death of Mercer, 444. Washington returns to Morristown,
445. Cornwallis in his lines at Brunswick, 445. Putnam at
Princeton, 446. Ill-treatment of American Prisoners, 447.
Appointment of General Officers — Medical Department, 448.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
The Interest taken in England and France, 454. Privateers fitted
out in France, 455. Munitions of War, 456. Howe's Man-
oeuvres, 457. Burgoyne on his way from Canada, 457. Ticon-
deroga captured, 458. St. Clair's retreat, 459. Capture of
General Prescott, 460. The Secret Expedition — Germantown,
461. Lafayette, Pulaski and Kosciusko, 462. Aid sent to
Schuyler — Howe lands at Elkton, 464. Battle of Brandywine,
465. Philadelphia taken possession of, 468. Battle of Ger-
mantown, 469. Hessians repulsed at Fort Mercer, 470. Win-
ter at Valley Forge, 471.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION CONTINUED.
Invasion from Canada — Appointment of General Gates, 472.
Jenny McCrea, 473. St. Leger besieges Fort Stanwix, 474.
The Attempt to relieve it, 475. Battle of Bennington, 476.
Change of Prospects, 477. Battle of Behmus's Heights, 478.
Ticonderoga besieged, 479. Burgoyne Surrenders his Army at
Saratoga, 480. The Prisoners — Capture of Forts on the Hud-
son, 482. Schuyler, 483.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
Sufferings at Valley Forge, 484. England Disappointed — Concili-
atory Measures of Parliament, 485. The War presses hard
upon the American people, 486. Difficulties in Congress, 487.
The * ' Conway Cabal, ' ' 488. Baron Steuben, 490. Attempt to
increase the army, 491. Exchange of Lee; his Treason, 492.
Treaty with France — British Commissioners, 493. Battle of
Monmouth, 494. Misconduct of Lee, 495. His death, 496.
Combined attack upon Newport fails, 497.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION — CONTINUED.
Dissensions in Congress, 501. Expedition against the Indians, 502.
The War in the South, 503. ^ Marauding Expeditions sent to
Virginia, and up the Hudson— Tryon ravages Connecticut, 504.
Wayne Captures Stony Point, 505. Lee surprises the Garri-
son at Jersey City — Combined assault upon Savannah, 506.
Daniel Boon, 507. George Rogers Clarke; Kaskaskia — Pio-
neers of Tennessee; Nashville, 508. John Paul Jones, 509.
Too Near the War-Path. Frontispiece. (Photo-engraving from a
John Hancock. (Woodcut from an old engraving.)
James Otis. (Woodcut from a painting.)
Patrick Henry Addressing the Virginia Assembly. (Engrav-
ing from the painting by Chappel.)
Patrick Henry. (Woodcut from an old print.)
Samuel Adams. (Woodcut from an old print.)
Interior of Faneuil Hall. (Engraving from a photograph.)
Battle of Lexington. (Engraving from a steel print.)
Retreat of the British from ConcorI*. (Engraving from the
painting by Chappel.)
Battle of Bunker Hill. (Engraving from Godfrey's steel plate
of the painting by Chappel.)
Israel Putnam. (Woodcut from a contemporaneous print.)
Nathaniel Greene. (Woodcut from an old print.)
George Washington. (Engraved from a painting.)
Thomas Jefferson. (Woodcut from a contemporaneous print.)
Reduced Fag-similes of the Signatures to the Declaration.
(Photo-engraving from copper-plate done from the original
Statue of Nathan Hale. (Duogravure from a photograph.)
Washington at the Battle of Princeton. (Engraving from the
painting by Chappel.)
Marquis de Lafayette. (Engraving from an old print.)
MISSIONS AND SETTLEMENTS IN NEW FRANCE.
The Emigrants few in number. — The Jesuits ; their zeal as Teachers
and Explorers. — Missions among the Hurons. — Ahasistari. —
The Five Nations, or Iroquois. — Father Jogues. — The Abena-
kis; Dreuilettes. — The Dangers of the Missions. — French Set-
tlers at Oswego. — James Marquette. — The Mississippi. — La
Salle; his Enterprise ; his Failure and tragical End.
chap. We have already given an account of the discoveries
'- made in New France, and the settlements founded under
1634. £ ne c[i rec tion of Samuel Champlain. We now intend to
trace the history of these settlements and missions, from
that period till the time when the Lilies of France were
supplanted by the Banner of St. George.
The climate offered but few inducements to cultiva-
tors of the soil, and emigrants came but slowly; they
established trading houses, rather than argicultural set-
tlements. To accumulate wealth their main resource was
in the peltries of the wilderness, and these could be ob-
tained only from the Indians, who roamed over the vast
regions west and north of the lakes.
A partial knowledge of the country had been obtained
from a priest, Father Le Caron, the friend and companion
of Champlain. He had, by groping through the woods,
and paddling over the waters his birch-bark canoe, pene-
trated far up the St. Lawrence, explored the south shore
of Lake Ontario, and even found his way to Lake Huron.
' v^^^^^JSSi '
THE JESUITS. 24l
Three years before the death of Champlain, Louis chap.
XIII. gave a charter to a company, granting them the —
control of the valley of the St. Lawrence and all its trib- 1634#
utaries. An interest was felt for the poor savages, and it
was resolved to convert them to the religion of Rome ; —
not only convert them, but make them the allies of
France. Worldly policy had as much influence as relig-
ious zeal. It was plain, the only way to found a French
empire in the New World, was by making the native
tribes subjects, and not by transplanting Frenchmen.
The missions to the Indians were transferred to the
supervision of the Jesuits. This order of priests was
founded expressly to counteract the influence of the
Reformation under Luther. As the Reformers favored 1534.
education and the diffusion of general intelligence, so the
Jesuit became the advocate of education — provided it
was under his own control. He resolved to rule the world
by influencing its rulers; he would govern by intellectual
power and the force of opinion, rather than by supersti-
tious fears. He endeavored to turn the principles of the
Reformation against itself. His vows enjoined upon him
perfect obedience to the will of his superior, — to go on
any mission to which he might be ordered. No clime so
deadly that he would not brave its danger; no people so
savage that he would not attempt their conversion.
With their usual energy and zeal, the Jesuits began
to explore the wilds of New France, and to bring its
wilder inhabitants under the influence of the Catholic
faith. To the convert was offered the privileges of a
subject of France. From this sprang a social equality,
friendly relations were established, and intermarriages
took place between the traders and the Indian women.
Companies of Hurons, who dwelt on the shores of the
lake which bears their name, were on a trading expedition
to Quebec. On their return home the Jesuits Brebeuf
and Daniel a ompanied them. They went up the Ot-
242 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, tawa till they came to its largest western branch, thence
'— to its head-waters, and thence across the wilderness to
1634. ^ e ^ r v iii a g es on Georgian bay and Lake Simcoe. The
faith and zeal of these two men sustained them during
their toilsome journey of nine hundred miles, and though
their feet were lacerated and their garments torn, they
rejoiced in their sufferings. Here in a grove they built,
with their own hands, a little chapel, in which they cele-
brated the ceremonies of their church. The Red Man
came to hear the morning and evening prayers ; though in
a language which he could not understand, they seemed
to him to be addressed to the Great Spirit, whom he him-
self worshipped. Six missions were soon established in
the villages around these lakes and bays. Father Brebeuf
spent four hours of every morning in private prayer and
self-flagellations, the rest of the day in catechizing and
teaching. Sometimes he would go out into the village,
and as he passed along would ring his little bell and thus
invite the grave warriors to a conference, on the mys-
teries of his religion. Thus he labored for fifteen years.
These teachings had an influence on the susceptible
heart of the great Huron chief Ahasistari. He professed
himself a convert and was baptized. Often as he escaped
uninjured from the perils of battle, he thought some pow-
erful spirit watched over him, and now he believed that
the God whom the white man worshipped was that guar-
dian spirit. In the first flush of his zeal he exclaimed:
"Let us strive to make all men Christians."
Thousands of the sons and daughters of the forest
listened to instruction, and the story of their willingness
to hear, when told in France, excited a new interest. The
king and queen and nobles vied with each other in mani-
festing their regard by giving encouragement and aid to
the missionaries, and by presents to the converts. A col-
lege, to educate men for these missions, was founded at
Quebec, two years before the founding of Harvard. Two
THE FIVE NATIONS. 243
years afterward the Ursuline convent was founded at chap.
Montreal for the education of Indian girls, and three young —
nuns came from France to devote themselves to that 1635,
labor. They were received with demonstrations of joy by
the Hurons and Algonquins. Montreal was now chosen
as a more desirable centre for missionary operations.
The tribes most intelligent and powerful, most war-
like and cruel, with whom the colonists came in contact,
were the Mohawks, or Iroquois, as the French named
them. They were a confederacy consisting of five na-
tions, the Senecas, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayu-
gas, and the Mohawks — better known to the English by
the latter name. This confederacy had been formed in
accordance with the counsels of a great and wise chief, 1539.
Hiawatha. Their traditions tell of him as having been
specially guided by the Great Spirit, and that amid
strains of unearthly music, he ascended to heaven in a
snow-white canoe. They inhabited that beautiful and
fertile region in Central New York, where we find the
lakes and rivers still bearing their names.
Their territory lay on the south shore of Lake On-
tario, and extended to the head-waters of the streams
which flow into the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, and
also to the sources of the Ohio. These streams they used
as highways in their war incursions. They pushed their
conquests up the lakes and down the St. Lawrence, and
northward almost to the frozen regions around Hudson's
bay. They professed to hold many of the tribes of New
England as tributary, and extended their influence to the
extreme east. They made incursions down the Ohio
against the Shawnees, whom they drove to the Carolinas.
They exercised dominion over the Illinois and the Mi-
amis. They were the inveterate enemies of the Hurons,
and a terror to the French settlements — especially were
they hostile to the missions. In vain the Jesuits strove to
teach them; French influence could never penetrate
244 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE,
chap, south of Ontario. The Mohawks closely watched the
- passes of the St. Lawrence, and the intercourse between
1635. ^g m i ss ionaries stationed on the distant lakes and their
head-quarters at Montreal, was interrupted unless they
travelled the toilsome route by the Ottawa and the wil-
1642. An expedition from the lakes had slipped through to
Quebec, and now it endeavored to return. As the fleet
approached the narrows, suddenly the Mohawks attacked
it; most of the Frenchmen and Hurons made for the op-
posite shore. Some were taken prisoners, among whom
was Father Jogues. The noble Ahasistari, from his
hiding-place, saw his teacher was a prisoner; he knew
that he would be tortured to death, and he hastened to
him: "My brother," said he, "I made oath to thee, that
I would share thy fortune, whether death or life ; here I
am io keep my vow." He received absolution at the
hands of Jogues, and met death at the stake in a manner
becoming a great warrior and a faithful convert.
Father Jogues was taken from place to place; in each
village he was tortured and compelled to run the gauntlet.
His fellow-priest, Goupil, was seen to make the sign of
the cross on the forehead of an infant, as he secretly bap-
tized it. The Indians thought it a charm to kill their
children, and instantly a tomahawk was buried in the
poor priest's head. The Dutch made great efforts,, but
in vain, to ransom Jogues, but after some months of cap-
tivity he made his escape to Fort Orange, where he was
gladly received and treated with great kindness by the
Dominie Megapolensis. Jogues went to France, but in a
few years he was again among his tormentors as a messen-
ger of the gospel; ere long a blow from a savage ended
his life. A similar fate was experienced by others. Father
Bressani was driven from hamlet to hamlet, sometimes?
scourged by all the inhabitants, and tortured iaevery
INDIAN MISSIONS. 245
possible form which savage ingenuity could invent, — yet chap.
he survived, and was at last ransomed by the Dutch. '—
The Abenakis of Maine sent messengers to Montreal 1642,
asking missionaries. They were granted, and Father
Dreuilettes made his way across the wilderness to the
Penobscot, and a few miles above its mouth established
a mission. The Indians came to him in great numbers.
He became as one of themselves, he hunted, he fished, he
taught among them, and won their confidence. He gave
a favorable report of the place, and the disposition of the
tribes, and a permanent Jesuit mission was there estab-
lished. On one occasion Father Dreuilettes visited the
Apostle Eliot at Roxbury. The noble and benevolent
work in which they were engaged, served in the minds of
these good men to soften the asperities existing between
the Catholic and the Puritan, and they bid each other
At this time there were sixty or seventy devoted mis- 1646.
sionaries among the tribes extending from Lake Superior
to Nova Scotia. But they did not elevate the character
of the Indian; he never learned to till the soil, nor to
dwell in a fixed abode; he was still a rover in the wild,
free forest, living by the chase. The Abenakis, like the
Hurons, were willing to receive religious instructions;
they learned to chant matins and vespers, they loved
those who taught them. It is not for us to say how many
of them received into their hearts a new faith.
The continued incursions of the ferocious Mohawks
kept these missions in peril. Suddenly one morning they
attacked the mission of St. Joseph on Lake Simcoe,
founded, as we have seen, by Brebeuf and Daniel. The
time chosen was when the warriors were on a hunting ex-
cursion, and the helpless old men, women, and children
fell victims to savage treachery. The aged priest Daniel, 1648.
at the first war-cry, hastened to give absolution to all the
converts he could reach, and then calmly advanced from
246 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, the chapel in the face of the murderers. He fell pierced
1648. with many arrows. These marauding expeditions broke
up nearly all the missions in Upper Canada. The Hu-
rons were scattered, and their country became a hunting-
ground for their inveterate enemies.
Many of the Huron converts were taken prisoners and
adopted into the tribes of the Five Nations. Some years
1661. after, when a treaty was made between those nations and
the French, the presence of these converts excited hopes
that they would receive Jesuit teachers. A mission was
established among the Onondagas, and Oswego, their
principal village, was chosen for the station. In a year or
two missionaries were laboring among the other tribes of
the confederacy. But the French, who had an eye to se-
curing that fertile region, sent fifty colonists, who began
a settlement at the mouth of the Oswego. The jealousy
of the Indians was excited; they compelled the colonists
to leave their country, and with them drove away the
missionaries. Thus ended the attempts of the French to
possess the soil of New York.
The zeal of the Jesuits was not diminished by these
untoward misfortunes; they still continued to prosecute
their labors among the tribes who would receive them.
Away beyond Lake Superior one of their number lost his
way in the woods and perished, and the wild Sioux kept
his cassock as an amulet. Into that same region the un-
daunted Father Allouez penetrated; there, at the largest
town of the Chippewas, he found a council of the chiefs
of many different tribes. They were debating whether
they should take up arms against the powerful and war-
like Sioux. He exhorted them to peace, and urged them
1666. to join in alliance with the French against the Iroquois;
he also promised them trade, and the protection of the
great king of the French. Then he heard for the first
time of the land of the Illinois, where there were no trees,
but vast plains covered with long grass, on which grazed
JAMES MARQUETTE. 247
innumerable herds of buffalo and deer. He heard of the chap.
wild rice, and of the fertile lands which produced an —
abundance of maize, and of regions were copper was ob- 1669 *
tained, — the mines so famous in our own day. He
learned, too, of the great river yet farther west, which
flowed toward the south, whither, his informants could
not tell. After a sojourn of two years Allouez returned to
Quebec, to implore aid in establishing missions in that
hopeful field. He stayed only to make known his request ;
in two days, he was on his way back to his field of labor,
accompanied by only one companion.
The next year came from France another company of
priests, among whom was James Marquette, who re-
paired immediately to the missions on the distant lakes.
Accompanied by a priest named Joliet, and five French
boatmen, with some Indians as guides and interpreters,
Marquette set out to find the great river, of which he had
heard so much. The company passed up the Fox river
in two birch-bark canoes; they carried them across the
portage to the banks of the Wisconsin, down which they
floated, till at length their eyes were gratified by the sight
of the "Father of Waters." i 670 .
They coast along its shores, lined with primeval for-
ests, swarming with all kinds of game ; the prairies redo-
lent with wild flowers; — all around them is a waste of
grandeur and of beauty. After floating one hundred and
eighty miles they meet with signs of human beings. They
land, and find, a few miles distant, an Indian village; here
they are welcomed by a people who speak the language
of their guides. They are told that the great river ex-
tends to the far south, where the heat is deadly, and that
the great monsters of the river destroy both men and
Nothing daunted they pass on, and ere long they reach
the place where the turbid and rapid Missouri plunges into
the tranquil and clear Mississippi. "When I return,"
248 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, says Marquette, "I will ascend that river and pass be-
'- yond its head- waters and proclaim the gospel.' ' Further
167rx# on they see a stream flowing from the north-east ; — it is
the Ohio, of which the Iroquois have told them. We can
imagine Marquette, noticing the fertility of the soil, look-
ing with awe upon the dark and impenetrable forests,
and hoping that in future ages these shores would be the
homes of many millions of civilized and Christian men.
As they went on they approached a warmer climate;
and now they were sure that the great river flowed into
the Gulf of Mexico, and not into that of California, as
had been supposed. They met with Indians who showed
them tools of European manufacture; obtained either
from the English of Virginia or from the Spanish fur-
ther south. It was deemed prudent to return, as they
might fall into the hands of the latter, and thus be de-
prived of the privilege of making known their discovery.
At the mouth of the Arkansas they began the toilsome
labor of paddling their canoes up the stream down which
they had so easily floated. They reached the mouth of
the Illinois; thinking it would lead them to the lakes,
they passed up that river to its head-waters, and thence
across to Lake Michigan.
Joliet immediately set out to carry the news of the
discovery to Quebec. Marquette was desirous to begin
his work, and he chose to remain in the humble station of
a missionary in the wilderness. One day he retired to his
private devotions, at a simple altar he had erected in a
grove. An hour afterward he was found kneeling beside
it; his prayers and his labors for the good of the poor In-
dian were ended; — in that hour of quiet retirement his
spirit had passed away.
Among the adventurers who came to Canada to seek
their fortunes, was Robert Cavalier de la Salle, a young
man who had been educated as a Jesuit, but had re-
nounced the order. A large domain at the outlet of Lake
ENTERPRISE OF LA SALLE — LOUISIANA. 249
Ontario was granted him on condition that he would chap.
maintain Fort Frontenac, now Kingston. But his main ~
object was to obtain the entire trade of the Iroquois. The 1675,
news of the discovery of the great river inflamed his ar-
dent mind with a desire to make settlements on its banks,
and thus secure its vast valley for his king. Leaving his
lands and his herds, he sailed for France, and there ob-
tained a favorable grant of privileges. He returned, 1677.
passed up to Lake Erie, at the foot of which he built a
vessel of sixty tons, in which, with a company of sailors,
hunters, and priests, he passed through the straits to the
upper lakes, and anchored in Green Bay. There, lading
his ship with a cargo of precious furs, he sent her to Niag- 1679.
ara, with orders to return as soon as possible with sup- g *
plies. Meanwhile he passed over into the valley of the
Illinois, and on a bluff by the river side, near where
Peoria now stands, built a fort, and waited for his ship;
but he waited in vain ; she was wrecked on the voyage.
After three years of toils, wanderings in the wilderness,
and voyages to France, during which he experienced dis-
appointments that would have broken the spirit of an
ordinary man, we find him once more on the banks of the
Illinois. Now he built a barge, on board of which, with his 1682.
companions, he floated down to the Mississippi, and thence A P nl
to the Gulf. Thus were his hopes, after so much toil and
sacrifice, realized. He had triumphantly traced the
mighty stream to its mouth. He remained only to take
possession of the country in the name of his sovereign,
Louis XIV., in honor of whom he named it Louisiana.
La Salle returned to Quebec, and immediately sailed
for France. He desired to carry into effect his great de-
sign of planting a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi.
The enterprise was looked upon with favor by both the
French people and the king. He was furnished with an
armed frigate and three other vessels, and two hundred 1684.
and eighty persons to form a colony. One hundred of
260 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, these were soldiers; of the remainder, some were volun-
teers, some mechanics, and some priests. Unfortunately,
the command of the ships was given to Beaujeu, a man
as ignorant as he was self-willed and conceited. After
surmounting many difficulties, they entered the Gulf of
Mexico, but missed the mouth of the Mississippi. La
1685. Salle soon discovered the error, but the stubborn Beau-
Feb - jeu, deaf to reason, sailed on directly west, till fortunately
arrested by the eastern shore of Texas. La Salle deter-
mined to disembark and seek by land the mouth of the
great river. The careless pilot ran on the store-ship on
the breakers ; suddenly a storm arose, and very little was
saved of the abundance which Louis had provided for the
enterprise. It is said that he gave more to aid this one
colony than the English sovereigns combined gave to all
theirs in North America.
As the ships were about to leave them on that deso-
late shore, many became discouraged, and returned home.
The waters in the vicinity abounded in fish, and the for-
ests in game, and with a mild climate and productive soil,
there was no danger from starvation. A fort was built in
a suitable place ; the trees of a grove three miles distant
furnished the material, which they dragged across the
prairie. La Salle explored the surrounding country, but
sought in vain for the Mississippi. On his return to the
fort, he was grieved to find his colony reduced to forty
persons, and they disheartened and mutinous. He did
not despair; he would yet accomplish the darling object
of his ambition; he would thread his way through the
wilderness to Canada, and induce colonists to join him.
1687. With a company of sixteen men he commenced the jour-
ney; they travelled two months across the prairies west
of the Mississippi; but the hopes that had cheered his
heart amidst hardships and disappointments were never
to be realized. Two of his men, watching their opportu-
nity, murdered him. Thus perished Robert Cavalier de
DEATH OF LA SALLE. 251
la Salle, assassinated in the wilderness by his own coun- chap.
trymen. He was the first to fully appreciate the impor- —
tance of securing to France the two great valleys of this 1687< *
continent. His name will ever be associated with his un-
successful enterprise, and his tragical fate will ever excite
a feeling of sympathy. Retribution was not long delayed ;
his murderers, grasping at spoils, became involved in a
quarrel with their companions, and both perished by the
hand of violence.
The remainder of the company came upon a tributary
of the Mississippi, down which they passed to its mouth,
where their eyes were greeted by a cross, and the arms of
France engraved upon a tree. This had been done by
Tonti, a friend of La Salle, who had descended from the
Illinois, but in despair of seeing him had returned. The
colony of Texas perished without leaving a memento of
MARAUDING EXPEDITIONS; SETTLEMENT OF LOUIS-
IANA; CAPTURE OF LOUISBURG.
Mohawks hostile to the French. — Dover attacked; Major Waldron.
— Schenectady captured and burned. — The inhuman Fronte-
nac. — The Colonists act for themselves. — Invasion of Canada. —
Settlements in Maine abandoned. — Heroism of Hannah Dustin.
— Deerfield taken; Eunice Williams. — D'Ibberville plants a
Colony on the Pascagoula. — Trading Posts on the Illinois and
the Mississippi. — The Choctaws; the Natchez; attempts to
subdue the Chickasaws. — King George's War. — Capture of
Louisburg. — The English Ministry alarmed. — Jonathan Ed-
wards. — The "Great Revival." — Princeton College.
c !x P * P EACE na d continued for some time between the Five Na-
tions and the French, but now the former were suspicious
of the expeditions of La Salle. James II. had instructed
Dongan, the Catholic governor of New York, to conciliate
the French, to influence the Mohawks to receive Jesuit
missionaries, and to quietly introduce the Catholic relig-
ion into the colony. But Dongan felt more interest in
the fur trade, which the French seemed to be monopoliz-
ing, than in Jesuit missions among the Mohawks, and he
rather encouraged the latter in their hostility. An act of
treachery increased this feeling. Some of their chiefs,
who were enticed to enter Fort Frontenac, were seized
and forcibly carried to France, and there made slaves.
When the indignant people of England drove the
bigoted James from his throne and invited William of
168*. Orange to fill it, Louis XIV. took up the quarrel in behalf
of James, or of legitimacy, as he termed it. He believed
DOVER BURNED — MAJOR WALDRON, 253
in the divine right of kings to rule, and denied the right chap.
of a people to change their form of government. Louis —
had for years greatly abused his power, and all Europe 1688 '
had suffered from his rapacity. Religious feeling exerted
its influence in giving character to the war, and Protest-
ant Holland joined heart and hand with Protestant Eng-
land in opposing Catholic France.
Though the colonies were thus involved in war by the
mother countries, they had different ends in view. The
New Englanders had an eye to the fisheries and the pro-
tection of their northern frontiers ; the French wished to
extend their influence over the valleys of the St. Lawrence
and the Mississippi, and to monopolize the fisheries as
well as the fur- trade. The latter object could be obtained
only by the aid of the Indians, and they were untiring in
their efforts to make them friends. They could never
conciliate the Mohawks, nor induce them to join in an in-
vasion of New York. On the contrary, fifteen hundred of
them suddenly appeared before Montreal, and in a few
days captured that place, and committed horrible out-
rages upon the people.
Thus stood matters when Frontenac, for the second it>8a
time, appeared as governor of New France. To make the
savages respect him as a warrior, he set on foot a series of
incursions against the English colonies. The eastern In-
dians were incited to attack Dover in New Hampshire ; —
incited by the French, and also by a cherished desire for
revenge. There, at the head of the garrison, was that
Major Waldron who, thirteen years before, during King
Philip's war, had treacherously seized two hundred of
their friends, who came to him to treat of peace. He had
proposed to these unsuspecting Indians a mock fight by
way of entertainment; when their guns were all dis-
charged he made them prisoners and sent them to Boston.
Some of them were hanged, and others sold into slavery.
The Indians in their turn employed stratagem and treach-
254 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. ery. Two squaws eame to Dover; they asked of the aged
Waldron, now fourscore, a night's lodging. In the night
they arose, unbarred the gates, and let in their friends,
who lay in ambush. Their hour for vengeance had come ;
they made the pangs of death as bitter as possible to
the brave old Waldron ; his white hairs claimed from them
no pity. In derision, they placed him in a chair on a
table, and scored his body with gashes equal in number to
their friends he had betrayed; they jeeringly asked him,
"Who will judge Indians now? Who will hang our
brothers? Will the pale-faced Waldron give us life for
life?" A They burned all the houses, murdered nearly half
the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity.
This was only the beginning of a series of horrors
inflicted upon the frontier towns. The inhabitants of
Schenectady, as they slept in fancied security, were star-
tled at midnight by the terrible war-whoop of the savage,
— the harbinger of untold horrors. The enemy found easy
1690. access, as the gates of the palisades were open. The houses
Feb. were ge £ on g re ^ more than sixty persons were killed,
and many helpless women and children were carried into
captivity. A few escaped and fled half clad through the
snow to Albany. This attack was made by a party of
French and Indians from Montreal, who had toiled for
twenty-two days through the snows of winter, breaking
the track with snow-shoes, and using, when they could,
the frozen streams as a pathway. At Salmon Falls, on the
Piscataqua, and at Casco, similar scenes were enacted.
Such were the means the inhuman Frontenac, now
almost fourscore, took to inspire terror in the minds of the
English colonists, and to acquire the name of a great war-
rior among the Indians, — they would follow none but a
successful leader. Among the early Jesuit missionaries
who taught the Indians of New France, there were un-
1 New England History, C. W. Elliott.
EXPEDITIONS AGAINST CANADA. 255
doubtedly many good men. The priests of that genera- chap.
tion had passed away, and others had taken their places;
these incited the recently converted savage, not to prac- 169 °*
tise Christian charity and love, but to pillage and murder
the heretical English colonist.
King William was busy in maintaining his own cause
in England, and left the colonists to defend themselves.
Massachusetts proposed that they should combine, and
remove the cause of their trouble by conquering Canada.
Commissioners from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and
New York met to deliberate on what course to pursue.
They resolved to invade that province from New York,
by way of Lake Champlain, and from Massachusetts by
way of the St. Lawrence. The expedition from New York
failed. Colonel Peter Schuyler led the advance with a
company of Mohawks, but the ever-watchful Frontenac
was prepared; his Indian allies flocked in crowds to aid
him in defending Montreal. The Mohawks were repulsed
and could not recover their position, as the army sent to
support them was compelled to stop short ; the small-pox
broke out among the soldiers, and they were in want of
Meantime, the fleet of thirty-two vessels, and two
thousand men, which had sailed from Boston, was en-
deavoring to find its way up the St. Lawrence. It was
under the command of Sir William Phipps, to whose in-
competency may be attributed the failure of the enter-
prise. An Indian runner cut across the woods from
Piscataqua, and in twelve days brought the news of the
intended attack to the French. Frontenac hastened to
Quebec, where he arrived three days before the fleet.
When it came in sight he was prepared to make a vigorous
defence. A party landed, but after some skirmishing the
enterprise was abandoned. While returning, the men
suffered much from sickness, and storms disabled the
fleet. The disappointment of the people of Massachusetts
256 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, was very great; many lives had been lost, and the colony
. — was laden with debt.
1690. The Eastern Indians, in the mean time, were held in
check by Captain Church, celebrated in King Philip's
war. At one time, he so far forgot himself as to put to
death his prisoners, some of whom were women and chil-
dren. Such cruelty was inexcusable ; and it was avenged
by the savages with tenfold fury. Nearly all the settle-
ments of what is now Maine were destroyed or abandoned.
The enemy were continually prowling around the farms,
watching an opportunity to shoot the men at their work.
All went armed, and even the women learned to handle
effectively the musket and the rifle. It was a great in-
ducement for the Indians to go on these marauding expe-
ditions, because they could sell for slaves to the French
of Canada the women and children they took prisoners.
Peace was at length made with the Abenakis, or East-
ern Indians, and there was a lull in the storm of desola-
tion. It lasted but a year, the Indians broke the treaty,
They were incited to this by their teachers, two Jesuits,
Thury and Bigot, who even took pride in their atrocious
1694. Heroic deeds were performed by men and women. A
small band of Indians attacked the house of a farmer
named Dustin, near Haverhill. When in the fields he
heard the war-whoop and the cry of distress. He has-
tened to the rescue, met his children, and threw himself
between them and their pursuers, whom he held at bay
by well-directed shots till the children were in a place of
safety. His house was burned; a child only a few days
old was dashed against a tree, and his wife, Hannah Dus-
tin, and her nurse, were carried away captive. A toil-
some march brought them to an island in the Merrimae,
just above Concord, where their captors lived. There
Mrs. Dustin, with the nurse and a boy, also a captive,
planned an escape. She wished revenge, as well as to be
DEERFIELD DESTROYED — EUNICE WILLIAMS. 257
secure from pursuit. The Indians, twelve in number, chap.
were asleep. She arose, assigned to each of her compan- ~
ions whom to strike; their hands were steady and their 1694,
hearts firm; they struck for their lives. Ten Indians
were killed, one woman was wounded, and a child was
purposely saved. The heroic woman wished to preserve
a trophy of the deed, and she scalped the dead. Then in
a canoe the three floated down the Merrimac to Haver-
hill, much to the astonishment of their friends, who had
given them up for lost. Such were the toils and sufferings
and such the heroism of the mothers in those days.
The friendly Mohawks had intimated to the inhabi-
tants of Deerfield, in the valley of the Connecticut, that
the enemy was plotting their destruction. The anxiety
of the people was very great, and they resolved during the
winter to keep a strict watch; sentinels were placed every
On an intensely cold night in February a company of 1704
two hundred Frenchmen, and one hundred and forty In-
dians, lay in ambush, waiting a favorable moment to
spring upon their victims. Under the command of Hertel
de Rouville, they had come all the way from Canada, on
the crust of a deep snow, with the aid of snow-shoes. The
sentinels, unconscious of danger, retired at dawn of day.
The snow had drifted as high as the palisades, thus ena-
bling the party to pass within the inclosure, which con-
sisted of twenty acres. The terrible war-cry startled the
inhabitants, the houses were 3et on fire, and forty-seven
persons were ruthlessly murdered; one hundred and
twelve were taken captive, among whom were the min-
ister Williams, his wife, and five children. No pen can
describe the sufferings of the captives on that dreary win-
ter's march, driven, as they were, by relentless French-
men and savages. Eunice Williams, the wife, drew con-
solation from her Bible, which she was permitted to read
when the party stopped for the night. Her strength soon
256 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, failed; her husband cheered her by pointing her to the
— "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
1704. a rpj^ mo th er > s heart rose to her lips, as she commended
her five captive children, under God, to their father's care,
and then one blow of the tomahawk ended her sorrows."
This family, with the exception of one daughter, seven
years old, were afterward ransomed, and returned home.
Many years after this, there appeared at Deerfield a
white woman wearing the Indian garb ; she was the lost
daughter of Eunice Williams, and now a Catholic, and
the wife of an Indian chief. No entreaties could influence
her to remain with her civilized relatives ; she chose to re-
turn and end her days with her own children.
Humanity shudders at the recital of the horrors that
marked those days of savage warfare. Some of the In-
dians even refused to engage any more in thus murdering
the English colonists; but the infamous Hertel, with the
approbation of Vaudreuil, then governor of Canada, in-
duced a party to accompany him on a foray. Why re-
peat the story of the fiendish work, by which the little
village of Haverhill, containing about thirty log-cabins,
was burned, and all the inhabitants either murdered or
1708. taken captive. "My heart swells with indignation,"
wrote Colonel Peter Schuyler of New York, to Vaudreuil,
" when I think that a war between Christians princes, is
degenerating into a savage and a boundless butchery;
I hold it my duty toward God and my neighbor, to pre-
vent, if possible, these barbarous and heathen cruelties."
This reproof was unheeded; the cruelties continued.
Under the feelings excited by such outrages, can we
think it strange that the colonists resolved to hunt the
Indians like wild beasts, and offered a bounty for their
scalps? or that the hostility against the French Jesuit
should have thrown suspicion upon the Catholic of Mary-
land, who about this time was disfranchised? or that even
LEMOINE D'iBBERVILLE. 259
in liberal Rhode Island, he should have been deprived chap.
of the privilege of becoming a freeman?
With renewed energy the French began to press for- 1708 -
ward their great design of uniting, by means of trading
posts and missions, the region of the Lakes and the valley
of the Mississippi. The Spaniards had possession of the
territory on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico,
while they claimed the entire regions lying around that
expanse of water.
The energetic mind of Lemoine dTbberville conceived
a plan for planting a colony at the mouth of the Missis-
sippi. He was a native of Canada, and had, on many
occasions, distinguished himself by his talents and great
courage. Hopes were entertained of his success. The
expedition, consisting of four vessels and nearly two hun-
dred colonists, among whom were some women and chil-
dren, sailed from Canada for the mouth of the Mississippi. 1699.
D'Ibberville entered the Gulf and approached the north
shore, landed at the mouth of the river Pascagoula, and
with two barges and forty-eight men went to seek the
great river. He found it by following up a current of
muddy waters, in which were many floating trees. He
passed up the stream to the mouth of Red River, where
he was surprised to receive a letter dated fourteen years
before. It was from Tonti; he had left it with the In-
dians for La Salle; they had preserved it carefully, and
gave it to the first Frenchman who visited them.
As the shores of the Mississippi in that region are
marshy, it was thought best to form a settlement on the
Gulf at the mouth of the Pascagoula. This was the first
colony planted within the limits of the present State of
Mississippi. D'Ibberville sailed for France to obtain sup-
plies and more colonists, leaving one of his brothers, Sau-
ville, to act as governor, and the other, Bienville, to
engage in exploring the country and river.
Some fifty miles up the Mississippi Bienville met an
260 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. English ship sent on the same errand. Seventy years
— before, Charles I. had given to Sir Robert Heath a grant
1630. £ Q aro ii naj which as usual was to extend to the Pacific.
This worthless grant Coxe, a London physician, had pur-
chased, and to him belonged this vessel.
From the time of La Salle the Jesuits had been busy
ingratiating themselves with the tribes along the shores
of the Mississippi, and under their direction trading posts
were established, at various points, to the mouth of the
Illinois, and up that river to the Lakes.
1700. The following year DTbberville returned with two
ships and sixty colonists, and the aged Tonti had just ar-
rived from the Illinois. Availing himself of his counsel,
DTbberville ascended the river four hundred miles, and
on a bluff built a fort, which, in honor of the Duchess of
Pontchartrain, was called Rosalie. These settlements
languished for twenty years ; the colonists were mere hire-
lings, unfitted for their work. The whole number of
emigrants for ten years did not exceed two hundred per-
sons. Instead of cultivating the soil, and making their
homes comfortable, many went to the far west seeking for
gold, and others to the north-west on the same errand,
while fevers and other diseases were doing the work of
death. Meantime Mobile became the centre of French
influence in the south.
Once more a special effort was made to occupy the
territory, and a monopoly of trade was granted to Arthur
1714. c r ozart, who was to send every year two ships laden with
merchandise and emigrants, and also a cargo of slaves
from Africa. The French government was to appropriate
annually about ten thousand dollars to defray the ex-
pense of forts and necessary protection.
A trading house was established up the Red River at
Natchitoches, and one up the Alabama near the site of
Montgomery; Fort Rosalie became a centre of trade, and
FOUNDING OF NEW ORLEANS. 261
the germ of the present city of Natchez — the oldest town chap.
on the Mississippi. '—
Bienville put the convicts to work on a eane-brake to
remove the trees and shrubs " from a savage and desert
place," and built a few huts. Such were the feeble begin-
nings of New Orleans, which it was prophesied would
yet become " a rich city, the metropolis of a great colony."
Still the colony did not prosper; instead of obtaining
their supplies from that fruitful region, they were depend-
ent on France and St. Domingo. Labor was irksome to
the convicts and vagabonds, and the overflowings of the
river, and the unhealthiness of the climate retarded prog-
ress. The chief hope for labor was based on the impor-
tation of negroes from Africa.
Some German settlers, who, a few years before, had
been induced by one Law, a great stock-jobbing and land
speculator, to emigrate to the banks of the Arkansas, de-
cided to remove. A tract of land, lying twenty miles
above New Orleans, known now as the " German coast,"
was given them. Their settlement was in contrast with 1722.
the others. They were industrious, and cultivated their
farms, raised vegetables, rice, and other provisions ; also
tobacco and indigo. The fig and the orange were now
introduced. The Illinois region had been settled by emi-
grants from Canada, who raised wheat and sent flour to
the colonists below. The priests meanwhile were not idle
in teaching the Indians, and a convent was founded at
New Orleans for the education of girls. As the colonists
had not energy enough to protect themselves, a thousand
soldiers were sent from France for that purpose. 1724.
The Choctaws, the allies of the French, occupied the
region between the lower Mississippi and the Alabama.
The principal village of the Natchez tribe was on the
bluff where now stands the city of that name. They
were not a numerous people, unlike the tribes among
whom they dwelt, in their language as well as in their
262 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, religion. Like the Peruvians, they were worshippers of
— the sun, and in their great wigwam they kept an undying
1724. £ re Their principal chief professed to be a descendant
of the sun. They became justly alarmed at the encroach-
ments of the French, who having Fort Rosalie, demanded
the soil on which stood their principal village, for a farm.
They suddenly fell upon the white intruders and killed
two hundred of their number, and took captive their
women and children. The negro slaves joined the Indi-
ans. Their principal chief, the Great Sun, had the heads
of the French officers slain in the battle arranged around
1730. him, that he might smoke his pipe in triumph; — his tri-
umph was short. A company, consisting of French and
Choctaws, under Le Suer, came up from New Orleans, and
surprised them while they were yet celebrating their vic-
tory. The Great Sun and four hundred of his people were
taken captive and sent to St. Domingo as slaves. Some
of the Natchez escaped and fled to the Chickasaws, and
some fled beyond the Mississippi; their land passed into
the hand of strangers, and soon, they as a people were
The territory of the brave Chickasaws, almost sur-
rounding that of Natchez, extended north to the Ohio,
and east to the land of the Cherokees. They were the
enemies of the French, whose boats, trading from Canada
and Illinois to New Orleans, they were accustomed to
plunder. English traders from Carolina were careful to
increase this enmity toward their rivals.
1735. Two expeditions were set on foot to chastise these bold
marauders. Bienville came up from the south with a
fleet of boats and canoes, and a force of twelve hundred
Choctaws: he paddled up the Tombecbee as far as he
could, and then hastened across tbu country to surprise
one of their fortified places. D'Artaguette hastened
down from the Illinois country, of which he was governor,
with fifty Frenchmen and a thousand Indians, to attack
EXPEDITION AGAINST LOUISBURG. 263
another of their strongholds. The Chickasaws were too chap.
vigilant to be thus surprised. They repulsed Bienville, dis-
persed the forces of D'Artaguette, took him prisoner, and
burned him at the stake. Once more an attempt was made May
with all the force the French could bring to crush this 20 *
warlike tribe, but in vain; the patriotic Chickasaws suc-
cessfully defended their country against the foreign foe. 1740.
These reverses did not deter the persevering French
from establishing trading houses south of Lake Erie, and
down the Alleghany to the Ohio, and thence to the Mis-
sissippi. The people of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and
Virginia became alarmed at these encroachments on
their territory. The Iroquois professed to have con-
quered all the valley of the Ohio, and they claimed a vast
region to the north-west as their hunting grounds. Com-
missioners from the above colonies met the envoys of the 1745.
Iroquois at Lancaster, and purchased from them for £400 Jul y*
all their claim to the regions which they professed to own
between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany mountains.
The colonies had enjoyed nearly thirty years of com- 1744.
parative freedom from French and Indian incursions,
when they were involved in what is known as King
The first intimation of hostilities was an attack upon
the fort at Canso, in which the garrison was captured and
carried to Louisburg. Louisburg was the great strong-
hold of the French on this continent; the centre from
which privateering expeditions were fitted out, that had
nearly destroyed the commerce as well as the fisheries of
New England. To prevent these depredations, and the
inroads to which the French incited their Indian allies,
Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, proposed to the Gen-
eral Court to take Louisburg. No aid was expected from
the mother country — she was too much engaged at home;
but the other colonies were invited to enlist in the com-
mon cause. New Jersey and Pennsylvania agreed to
264 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
°5xf' furnish money, but declined to send men; New York
furnished money and some cannon; Connecticut offered
five hundred men; Rhode Island and New Hampshire
each furnished a regiment. Massachusetts proposed the
expedition, was the most interested in its success, bore
the greater part of the expense, and furnished the greater
portion of the men and vessels. The fishermen, especially
those of Marblehead, entered upon the enterprise with
alacrity. Their fisheries had been almost ruined and they
thrown out of employment, by the continued forays from
Louisburg. Farmers, mechanics, and lumbermen volun-
teered in great numbers. Here were citizen soldiers,
without a single man whose knowledge of military tactics
went beyond bush-fighting with the Indians, and all
equally ignorant of the proper means to be used in reduc-
ing a fortified place. A wealthy merchant, William Pep-
perell, of Maine, was elected commander. The artillery
was under the direction of Gridley, the same who, thirty
years afterward, held a similar position in an American
army under very different circumstances. The enthusi-
asm was great, and what was lacking in means and skill,
was supplied by zeal. A strong Protestant sentiment was
mingled with the enterprise, and Whitefield, then on his
third tour of preaching in the colonies, was urged to fur-
nish a motto for the banner. He promptly suggested,
" Nil desperandum, Christo duce" — "Nothing is to be de-
spaired of when Christ is leader." He also preached to
them an inspiriting sermon, and they sailed, like the Cru-
saders of old, confident of success.
1745. In April the fleet arrived at Canso, but owing to the
ice, could not enter the harbor of Louisburg. Intelligence
of the expedition had been sent to England, and Admiral
Warren, who commanded on the West India station, was
invited to join the enterprise. He declined for want of
explicit orders, but afterward receiving permission, he
hastened to join them with four men-of-war.
LOUISBURG CAPTURED. 265
The whole armament was now put in motion for Lou- chap.
isburg. That stronghold had walls forty feet thick, thirty '—
feet high, and surrounded by a ditch eighty feet wide, 1745#
with protecting forts around it, manned by nearly two
hundred and fifty cannon, small and great, and garrisoned
by sixteen hundred men.
As the fleet approached, the French came down to the
beach to oppose their landing, but in a moment the
"whale boats," filled with armed men, were "flying like
eagles ' ' to the shore. Their opposers, panic-stricken, fled ;
and the following night the soldiers of the royal battery,
one of the outside forts, spiked their cannon and re-
treated to the town. The deserted fort was immediately
taken possession of, and the gunsmiths went to work to
bore out the spikes. The next day a detachment marched
round the town, giving it three cheers as they passed, and
took up a position that completely enclosed the place on the
land side, while the fleet did the same toward the ocean.
They threw up batteries, dragged their cannon over a
morass, and brought them to bear upon the fortress.
These amateur soldiers soon became accustomed to
encamping in the open air, and sleeping in the woods, as
well as to the cannon-balls sent among them by the be-
sieged. They not only prevented ships from entering the
harbor, but found means to decoy into the midst of their
fleet and capture a man-of-war of sixty-four guns, laden
with stores for the fort. This loss so much disheartened
the garrison that, after a siege of seven weeks, Louisburg June
surrendered. The news of this success sent a thrill of *'•
joy throughout the colonies. It was the greatest feat
of the war, and was accomplished by undisciplined volun-
France resolved, at any cost, to recover her strong-
hold, and also to desolate the English colonics. The fleet
sent for the purpose was disabled by storms, while pesti-
lence wasted the men. The commander, the Duke d'An-
266 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, ville, suddenly died, and his successor, a short time after,
— committed suicide. The next year the fleet, sent for the
1746, same purpose, was forced to strike its colors to an En-
glish squadron under Admirals Anson and Warren.
Though thus successful, the frontier settlements still
suffered greatly, and in self-defence the old project was
revived of conquering Canada. The government of Eng-
land required all the colonies, as far south as Virginia, to
furnish men and means. Eight thousand men were
raised, of which number Massachusetts furnished nearly
one-half. The British ministry suddenly changed their
mind, and the enterprise was abandoned. Soon after, the
treaty of Aix la Chapelle was concluded, by which all
places taken by either party during the war were to be
restored. Thus Louisburg, the capture of which was so
gratifying to the colonists, and so significant of their dar-
1748. m g spirit, passed again into the hands of the French.
The ministry did not relish the ardor and independ-
ence of the colonists, who appeared to have, according to
Admiral Warren, " the highest notions of the rights and
liberties of Englishmen; and, indeed, as almost level-
lers." It was in truth the foreshadowing of their com-
plete independence of the mother country, and measures
were taken by her to make them more subservient. They
were forbidden to have any manufactures, to trade to any
place out of the British dominions, while no other nation
than the English were permitted to trade with them.
"These oppressions," says an intelligent traveller of that
day, " may make, within thirty or fifty years, the colonies
entirely independent of England."
For many years there had been a marked decline in
religion in New England. A peculiar union of church
and state had led to a sort of compromise between the
two, known as the "Half-way covenant," by which per-
sons who had been baptized, but without pretensions to
JONATHAN EDWARDS. — THE GREAT REVIVAL. 26}
personal piety, were admitted to the full privileges of chap.
church members. —
In the midst of this declension a religious " Awaken- 1735,
ing," better known as the "Great Revival," commenced
at Northampton, in Massachusetts, under the preaching
of Jonathan Edwards, a young man remarkable for his
intellectual endowments. His sermons were doctrinal
and strongly Calvinistic. His religious character had
been early developed. At thirteen he entered Yale Col-
lege; thoughtful beyond his years, a metaphysician by
nature, at that early age he was enraptured with the pe-
rusal of Locke on the "Understanding." Secluded from
the world b}^ the love of study, he penetrated far into the
mysteries of the workings of the human mind.
Edwards drew from the Bible the knowledge of the
true relation between the church and the world. The
contest was long and strenuous, but the lines were clearly
drawn, and from that day to this the distinction is
marked and appreciated. " He repudiated the system of
the Half-way covenant," and proclaimed the old doc-
trines of " the sole right of the sanctified to enjoy the privi-
leges of church members, and of salvation by faith alone."
As the influence of the state in religious matters thus be-
gan to fade away, a closer spiritual relation of men to
men, not as members of a commonwealth alone, but as
members of a great brotherhood, gained in importance.
Parties sprang into existence; those who favored a
more spiritual life in religion were stigmatized as "New
Lights," while the steady conservatives were known as
the " Old Lights." So bitter was the feeling that in Con-
necticut the civil authority was invoked, and severe laws 1742
were enacted against the New Lights. The controversy
was so warm that Edwards was driven from his congrega-
tion — at that time, " the largest Protestant society in the
world." He went as a missionary to the Housatonic In-
dians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. There in the forest,
268 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, amid toils and privations, he wrote his far-famed treatise
— on the "Freedom of the Will," which has exerted so
1750. muc ] 1 influence in the theological world, while the writer
was the first American that obtained a European reputa-
tion as an author.
1740. During this period Whitefield came, by invitation, to
New England. He had been preaching in the south with
unexampled success. At intervals, for more than thirty
years, he preached the gospel from colony to colony.
"Hundreds of thousands heard the highest evangelical
truths uttered with an eloquence probably never
equalled." The influence of the awakening spread till all
the colonies were visited by the same blessings, especially
the Presbyterians of New York, New Jersey, and Penn-
sylvania, and in a less degree in the more southern colo-
nies. These influences were not limited to that age, for
similar revivals have continued to our own times.
The Baptists, hitherto but few in number, received a
new impulse, as many of the New Light churches adopted
their views;* and the preaching of Whitefield prepared
the way for the success of the Methodists.
The revival created a want for ministers of the gospel,
to supply which, the Rev. William Tennent established
an academy at Neshaminy; an institution where young
men professing the religious fervor that characterized
those prominent in the revival, could be prepared for the
sacred office. This was the germ of Princeton College.
This religious sentiment met with little sympathy
from the authorities of the colony, and with difficulty a
1746. charter was obtained. The institution was named Nassau
Hall, in honor of the great Protestant hero, William III.
It was first located at Elizabethtown, then at Newark,
1757. an d finally at Princeton, Its success was unexampled;
in ten years the number of students increased from eight
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.
The Valley of the Ohio. — French and English Claimants. — Gist the
Pioneer. — George Washington; his Character; his Mission to
the French on the Alleghany. — Returns to Williamsburg. — St.
Pierre's Letter unsatisfactory. — Virginians driven from the
Ohio. — Fort Du Quesne built. — Washington sent to defend the
Frontiers. — Conflict at Fort Necessity. — The Fort abandoned. —
British Troops arrive in America. — Plan of operations. — Gen-
eral Braddock; his qualifications. — The Army marches from
Wills' Creek. — Obstinacy of Braddock. — Arrival on the Monon-
gahela. — The Battle. — Defeat. — Death and Burial of Braddock.
— Dunbar's Panic. — The Frontiers left unprotected.
Scarcely an English colonist had yet settled in the val- chap.
ley of the Ohio. The traders who visited the Indians in -
that region, told marvellous stories of the fertility of the 1749,
soil, and the desirableness of the climate. It was pro-
posed to found a colony west of the Alleghany mountains.
The governor of Virginia received royal instructions to
grant the "Ohio Company " five hundred thousand acres
of land lying between the rivers Monongahela and Kana-
wha, and on the Ohio. The company engaged to send
one hundred families; to induce them to emigrate the^
offered them freedom from quit-rents for ten years.
Meantime, the French sent three hundred men to ex-
pel the English traders and take possession of the valley.
They also sent agents, who passed through the territory
north of the Ohio river, and at various points nailed on
the trees plates of lead, on which were inscribed the arms
of France. This they were careful to do in the presence
270 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, of the Indians, who suspected they intended to take away
- their lands. When the English came and made surveys
1749. on f. ne south side of the Ohio, they asked them the puz-
zling question: "If the French take possession of the
north side of the Ohio, and the English of the south,
where is the Indian's land?"
At Wills' Creek, now Cumberland, Maryland, one of
the easiest passes over the mountains commenced. Here
the Ohio Company established a place of deposit to sup-
ply Indian traders with goods. They also wished to
explore the Ohio river to the great falls; to ascertain the
location of the best lands, and whether the Indians were
friendly or unfriendly. They employed for this danger-
ous and difficult task the celebrated trader and pioneer
Christopher Gist, who crossed the mountains and came
upon the Alleghany river, at a village occupied by a few
Delaware Indians. Thence he passed down to Logs town,
a sort of head-quarters for traders, situated some miles
below the junction of that river and the Monongahela.
Here dwelt a renowned chief of the western tribes, Tana-
charison, or half-king, as he was called, because he ac-
knowledged a sort of allegiance to the Mohawks. "You
are come to settle the Indian lands," said the resident
traders, whose suspicions were roused ; " you will never go
home safe." Gist traversed the region of the Muskingum
and of the Scioto, then crossed the Ohio, and passed up
the Cuttawa or Kentucky to its very springs. He gave a
glowing account of the beauty and fertility of the region
he had visited. It was covered with trees of immense
size, the wild cherry, the ash, the black walnut, and the
sugar maple, the two latter giving indubitable proof of
the fertility of the soil ; a land abounding in never-failing
springs and rivulets, forests interspersed with small mead-
ows, covered with long grass and white clover, on which
fed herds of elk, deer, and buffalo, while the wild turkey
and other game promised abundance to the hunter and
GEORGE WASHINGTON. 271
pioneer. Such was the primitive character of the terri- chap.
tory since known as the State of Ohio. «.
He ascertained that French emissaries were visiting 1749 '
all the western tribes, to induce them to take up arms
against the English; that the Indians looked upon both
as intruders, and though willing to trade with both, were
unwilling that either should occupy their lands. The
French saw that if the English obtained a foothold on the
Ohio, they would cut off the communication between the
Lakes and the Mississippi. The final struggle for the
supremacy in the valley was near at hand.
While the English, by invitation of the Indians, were
approaching from the south, to build a fort at the head of
the Ohio, the French were approaching the same point
from the north. The latter had built war vessels at Fron-
tenac to give them the command of Lake Ontario; they
had strengthened themselves with treaties with the most
powerful tribes, the Shav/nees and the Dclawares; they
had repaired Fort Niagara, at the foot of Lake Erie, and
at this time had not less than sixty fortified and well gar-
risoned posts between Montreal and New Orleans. They
had also built a fort at Presquo Isle, now Erie, one on
French Creek, on the site of Waterford, and another at
the junction of that creek with the Alleghany, now the
village of Franklin.
Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, resolved to send a
messenger to remonstrate with the French for intruding
on English territory. Where could he find a man of en-
ergy and prudence to trust in this laborious and perilous
undertaking? His attention was directed to a mere
youth, in his twenty-second year, a surveyor, who, in the
duties of his profession, had become somewhat familiar 1732
with the privations of forest life. That young man was ^-
George Washington. He was a native of Westmoreland
county, Virginia. The death of his father left him an
orphan when el^s'en years of age. The wealthy Virginia
272 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, planters of those days were accustomed to send their sons
to England to complete their education, and thus had
Lawrence, his half-brother, fourteen years older than him-
self, been educated. No such privilege was in store for
George. His father's death may have interfered with such
plans : be that as it may, he was sent to the common school
in the neighborhood, and there taught only the simplest
branches of an English education — to spell, to read, to
write, to cipher. When older, he went for some time to
an academy of a somewhat higher grade, where he de-
voted his time particularly to the study of mathematics.
Though his school advantages were so limited, it was
his inestimable privilege to have a mother endowed with
good sense, united to decision of character and Christian
principle, — she inspired love, she enforced obedience.
From her he inherited an ardent, impulsive temper —
from her he received his antidote ; she taught him to hold
it in subjection.
The early life of George Washington furnishes an ex-
ample worthy the imitation of the youth of his country.
We are told of his love of truth, of his generous and noble
acts, that he won the confidence of his schoolmates, and
received from them that respect which virtue alone can
He was systematic and diligent in all his studies.
There may yet be seen, in the library at Mount Vernon,
the book in which he drew his first exercise in surveying;
every diagram made with the utmost care. Thus was
foreshadowed in the youth what was fully developed in
the man. At the early age of sixteen, we find him in the
woods on the frontiers of Virginia, performing his duties
as a surveyor; making his measurements with so much
accuracy that to this day they are relied upon.
We must not suppose that the studious and sedate
youth, with his rules for governing his " conversation and
conduct" carefully written out, and as carefully observed,
THE FORMATION OF HIS CHARACTER. 273
was destitute of boyish feelings. He had his youthful chap.
sports and en joyments; he could exhibit feats of strength
and skill ; he could ride a horse or throw a stone with any 1749,
boy, and was so far military in his tastes as occasionally to
drill his school-fellows during recess.
His brother Lawrence had spent some time in the Eng-
lish navy, and George had often heard of the excitements
of the seaman's life, and had boyish longings for adven-
tures on the ocean. Circumstances seemed to favor his
wishes. When fourteen, it was decided that he should
enter the navy. The man-of-war on which he was to go as
a midshipman was lying in the Potomac; his baggage was
ready, but when the parting hour came the mother's heart
failed. Though deeply disappointed, George yielded to
her wish, and relinquished his anticipated pleasure.
Though Washington was born and spent his youth in
the wilds of Virginia, there were many refining influences
brought to bear upon the formation of his character. He
was intimate for years in the Fairfax family, who brought
with them to their western home the refinement and cul-
ture of the English aristocracy of that day. Neither
must we overlook the benign influence exerted over him
by his educated and benevolent brother Lawrence, who,
up to the time of his death, watched over his young
brother with a father's care, as well as a brother's love.
The influence of Christian principle governing the im-
pulses of a noble nature, was the secret of the moral
excellence, the dignified integrity, unaffected candor, and
sterling worth, which shone forth in the character of
Washington, — a name so much blended with the liberties
of his country, and so much cherished and honored by the
friends of humanity in every clime.
Governor Dinwiddie gave his youthful messenger a
letter for the French commandant on the Ohio, in which
he demanded of him his reasons for invading the territory .
of England. The veiy day on which Washington re-
274 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, ceived his credentials, (October 30,) he left Williamsburg
for Winchester, then a frontier town of Virginia. By the
middle of November his preparations were completed.
With a company consisting of the intrepid Gist, who
acted as guide, two interpreters, and four others, he set
out from Wills' Creek. A journey of nine days, through
solitudes and mountain passes, and across streams swol-
len by recent rains, brought them to where the Mononga-
hela, that river "so deep and still," meets the " swift
running Alleghany. ' ' Washington explored the neighbor-
hood, and remarks in his journal : " The land at the Fork
is extremely well situated for a fort, as it has absolute
command of both rivers. ' ' Thus thought the French engi-
neers, who afterward on that very spot built Fort Du
Shingis, chief sachem of the Dela wares, who afterward
took up arms against the English, accompanied him to
Logstown. Here, by his instructions, Washington was
to confer with the Indian chiefs : he summoned them to a
grand talk. They would not commit themselves; they
had heard that the French were coming with a strong
force to drive the English out of the land. But he in-
duced three of them to accompany him to the station of
the French commandant; among them was the Half-
When he arrived at Venango, or Franklin, the officer
in command referred him to the Chevalier St. Pierre,
general officer at the next post. Meanwhile he was
treated with politeness, and invited by the French officers
to a supper. The wine passed freely, and the talkative
Frenchmen began to boast of their plans; they would
"take possession of the Ohio; the English could raise
two men to their one, but they were too slow and dila-
tory." The sober and cautious Washington marked well
their words. The three chiefs had promised well; they
would give back the speech belts to the French; they
THE VIRGINIANS DRIVEN FROM THE OHIO. 275
were friends to the English. But when plied with drink, chap.
and hailed by the French as "Indian brothers/' they —
wavered for a time. 1753,
Washington obtained an interview with St. Pierre,
"an ancient and silver-haired chevalier, courteous but
ceremonious," and after some delay received an answer to
his despatches, and hastened homeward. As the pack-
horses were disabled, he left them and the baggage, and
with Gist for his only companion struck out into the wil-
derness. The cold was intense, the snow was falling, and
freezing as it fell. Wrapped in Indian blankets, with
their guns in their hands and knapsacks on their backs,
and a compass to guide them, they pushed on toward the
Alleghany river, which they hoped to cross on the ice.
Their journey through the pathless wild was marked by
some mishaps and hairbreadth escapes. Their lives were
endangered by a false guide, and Washington in endeav-
oring to force his way through the ice in the river, came
near perishing; but, on the sixteenth of January, they 1754.
arrived safely at Williamsburg.
The answer of St. Pierre was courteous but indefinite.
He referred the matter to the Marquis Du Quesne, the
governor of Canada. It was clear, however, that he did
not intend to retire from the valley of the Ohio. This
was still more evident from the preparations of boats, ar-
tillery, and military stores, which Washington noticed up
the Alleghany, waiting for the spring flood, when they
would be taken to their place of destination.
The following spring the Ohio Company sent between
thirty and forty men to build a fort at the head of the
Ohio. The French were on the alert; a company of sol-
diers floated down the Alleghany, who surprised and sur-
rounded them at their work. They must surrender in an
hour's time or defend themselves against a thousand men.
They were glad to leave their unfinished fort and return
276 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, to Virginia. The French took immediate possession,
finished it, and named it Du Quesne.
At the early age of nineteen Washington had been
appointed Adjutant-General of the northern district of
Virginia, an ofhce which he filled to the entire satisfaction
of his countrymen. Now he received the commission of
lieutenant-colonel, with orders to protect the frontiers.
He was also offered the command of the expedition
against the French at Fort Du Quesne. This he declined
on account of his youth; the command was then con-
ferred upon Colonel Fry, who shortly after fell ill, and it
virtually passed into the hands of Washington. His lit-
tle army was ill provided with tents and military stores,
and poorly clad. They moved on very slowly. It was
not easy with a train of artillery to pass through the for-
ests, climb mountains, and ford swollen rivers. Wash-
ington pushed on with a detachment for the junction of
the Redstone and Monongahela. There, on the spot now
known as Brownsville, he hoped to maintain'his position
until the main force should come up, and then he would
float down the river in flat-boats to Fort Du Quesne.
On the ninth of May this detachment arrived at a
place called the Little Meadows. Here they met traders,
who informed them that the French were in great force at
Du Quesne, and that a portion of them had set out on a
secret expedition. There was but little doubt as to its
object. Presently came an Indian runner; he had seen
the tracks of the Frenchmen ; they were near. The Half-
King with forty warriors was also in the neighborhood.
On a dark and stormy night, Washington and forty of his
men groped their way to his camp, which they reached
about daylight. This faithful ally put a couple of run-
ners upon the enemy's ,tracks; they reported that the
French were encamped in a deep glen, where they had put
up temporary cabins.
Washington arranged his company in two divisions,
From stereograph, copyright, 1903, by Underwood & Underwood, \. V.
INTERIOR OF FANEUIL HALL
SURRENDER OF FORT NECESSITY. 277
and so effectually surprised them that few of their num- chap.
ber escaped. Among the slain was the youthful De —
Jumonville, the leader of the party. Here was shed the 17M *
first blood in that seven years' struggle, in which the
French power on this continent was broken. As no rein-
forcements were sent, Washington was greatly disap-
pointed; he could not maintain the advantage he had
gained. He heard that a numerous force was on its way
to attack him. In a letter to his friend Colonel Fairfax
he writes : " The motives that have led me here are pure
and noble. I had no view of acquisition, but that of
honor by serving faithfully my king and country."
He built a fort at the Great Meadows, which, from
the fact of a famine pressing upon them, he named Fort
Necessity. It is a fact worthy of mention, that at this
encampment public prayer was daily observed, and con-
ducted by the youthful commander himself.
Soon five hundred French and many hundred Indians
appeared on the hills in sight of the fort. He drew out
his men for battle, but the enemy declined the contest.
Then he withdrew them within the enclosure, giving them
directions to fire only when an enemy was in sight. This
irregular fighting continued throughout the day. The
rain poured in torrents, and rendered useless many of
their muskets. At night the French desired a parley;
suspecting stratagem to introduce a spy, Washington at
first refused, but at length consented. Much of the night
was spent in negotiation; finally, the Virginians were
allowed to leave the fort with the honors of war, and their
equipments and stores, except artillery. The next morn-
ing the youthful hero led out his men. The Indians im- July
mediately began to plunder; Washington, seeing this, 3 *
ordered every thing to be destroyed that the soldiers
could not carry. The loss of the Virginia regiment, which
numbered about three hundred, was nearly fifty ; the loss
of the enemy was greater. After much toil and suffering,
HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
from want of provisions, they arrived at Cumberland.
Thus ended the first military expedition of Washington.
Although unsuccessful, he displayed so much prudence
and judgment that the people were impressed by his
merits, and which the House of Burgesses acknowledged
by a vote of thanks.
He was, however, soon after annoyed and mortified by
the course pursued hy the narrow-minded Dinwiddie,
who, unwilling to promote the provincial officers, dis-
solved the Virginia regiments, and formed them into in-
dependent companies, in which there should be no officer
of higher rank than that of captain. With a dignity and
self-respect worthy of his character, Washington with-
drew from the army. When Governor Sharpe. of Mary-
land, was appointed commander-in-chief by the king, he
invited him, through a friend, to join it again under the
title of colonel, but really with no higher authority than
that of captain. He declined the offer, writing in reply,
" If you think me capable of holding a commission that
has neither rank nor emolument to it, you must maintain
a very contemptible opinion of my weakness, and believe
me more empty than the commission itself. ' ' He was still
further mortified by Dinwiddie's refusal to give up the
French prisoners, according to the articles of capitulation
at Fort Necessity.
While these contests were in progress in the valley of
the Ohio, the French and English nations were ostensibly
at peace. Each, desirous of deceiving the other, pro-
fessed to hope that this little collision would not interrupt
their harmony; the French still continued to send ships
to America laden with soldiers ; and the English matured
plans to drive them away.
Matters took a more decided form; war was not de-
clared, but open hostilities commenced, and England, for
the first time, sent an army to aid the colonists.
GENERAL BRADDOCK — THE EXPEDITION. 279
Four expeditions were decided upon : one to capture chap.
the French posts near the head of the bay of Fundy, and —
expel the French from Acadie; another against Crown 1754,
Point, to be led by William Johnson, Indian agent among
the Mohawks; the third, against Niagara and Frontenac,
was to be intrusted to Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts;
the fourth against Fort Du Quesne; the latter the Com-
mander-in-chief, General Edward Braddock, was to lead
The struggle was about to commence in earnest;
British troops had arrived, and the colonies responded
with a good will to the call of the mother country for
levies of soldiers.
General Braddock was perfect in the theory and prac-
tice of mere military training; he had been in the
"Guards" many years, where he had drilled and drilled,
but had never seen actual service. With the conceited
assurance of inexperience, he believed the excellencies
of the soldier were alone found in the British regular —
the perfection of military skill in British officers. To
these qualifications he added a most supercilious con-
tempt for the provincial soldiers and their officers.
He was to lead in person the force against Fort Du
Quesne. Of the difficulties of marching an army over 175&
mountains, and through an unbroken wilderness, he was
blindly ignorant. He was unwilling to hear advice, or
even receive information on the subject; and when Wash-
ington, whom he had invited to act as one of his aids,
suggested that " if the march was to be regulated by the
slow movements of the train, it would be tedious, very
tedious indeed/' he made no reply, but smiled at the sim-
plicity of the young man, who knew so little about the
movements of a regular army. Afterward, Benjamin
Franklin ventured to direct his attention to the danger of
Indian ambuscades. To his suggestion Braddock replied :
' The Indians are no doubt formidable to raw Americans,
280 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, but upon the king's regulars, and disciplined troops, it is,
- sir, impossible they should make any impression."
1755. rj^ e arm y assem bled at Wills' Creek, to which place
Braddock came in his coach, and surrounded by his staff,
"cursing the road very heartily" — its roughness had
broken his coach, and ruffled his temper. He refused to
employ Indians as scouts on the march, or to protect the
Pennsylvanians, who were making a road for the passage
of the army; hooted at the suggestion of Washington to
take as little baggage as possible, and to employ pack-
horses instead of wagons. The English officers could
give up neither their cumbrous baggage nor their lux-
uries, neither could the general dispense with "his
two good cooks, who could make an excellent ragout out
of a pair of boots, had they but materials to toss them
June. After a month's delay, the army commenced its
march. The difficulties of dragging heavily ladennvagons
and artillery over roads filled with stumps of trees and
rocks, brought the general partially to his senses, and he
inquired of Washington what was the best to be done.
From recent accounts it was known that the garrison at
Fort Du Quesne was small, and he advised that a division
of light armed troops should be hurried forward to take
possession of the place, before reinforcements could arrive
from Canada. Accordingly, twelve hundred choice men
were detached from the main body and pushed forward,
taking with them ten field-pieces, and pack-horses to
carry their baggage. The main division was left under
the command of Colonel Dunbar, with orders to move on
as fast as possible.
The general persisted in refusing to employ either In-
dians or backwoodsmen as scouts. There was a cele-
brated hunter, known all along the frontiers as Captain
Jack. He was "the terror of the Indians." He had been
their prisoner, had lived years among them, and was fa-
THE ARMY AT THE MONONGAHELA. 281
miliar with their habits. Afterward he cleared for him- chap.
self a piece of land, built his cabin, and, happy in his —
forest life, cultivated his ground and amused himself by 1755,
hunting and fishing. On his return home on a certain
evening he found his wife and children murdered, and his
cabin in ashes. From that hour he devoted his life to
defend the frontiers, and to avenge himself upon the de-
stroyers of his worldly happiness. He offered his services
and those of his band to act as scouts, and seek the Indi-
ans in their lurking-places. Braddock received him very
coldly, and declined the offer, saying that he " had experi-
enced troops upon whom he could rely for all purposes."
Even the advance division moved very slowly, not
more than three or four miles a day. Says Washington
in a letter, "Instead of pushing on with vigor, without
regarding a little rough road, they halt to level every
mole-hill and to erect a bridge over every brook." A
month's slow march through the woods brought the army
to the east bank of the Monongahela, about fifteen miles
above Fort Du Quesne. Only the very day before the
proposed attack on that fort, Washington, who had been
detained by a fit of sickness, was able to join them. As July 9.
the hills came down to the water's edge, it was necessary
to cross the river directly opposite to the camp, and five
miles below, at another ford, recross to the east side.
Colonel Gage — he, who, twenty years afterward, com-
manded a British army in Boston — crossed before day-
light, and with his detachment moved rapidly to the sec-
ond ford; then recrossing, took position to protect the
passage of the main force. Washington ventured once
more to suggest that the Virginia Rangers, consisting of
three hundred men, should be thrown in advance. This
proposition received an angry reply from Braddock, and,
as if to make the rebuke more conspicuous, the Virginians
and other provincials were placed as a rear-guard. At
sunrise the remainder of the army was in motion. Their
282 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, equipments were in the most perfect order; their muskets
were burnished, and charged with fresh cartridges, and in
high spirits they moved along, with bayonets fixed, colors
flying, and drums beating.
About two o'clock in the afternoon, after recrossing
the river, as the army was moving along a narrow road,
not more than twelve feet wide, with scarcely a scout in
front or on the flanks, the engineer, who was marking the
way, suddenly cried out " French and Indians." Scarcely
was the alarm given, before rapid firing was heard in
front, accompanied by most terrific yells. The enemy
was in a broad ravine, covered with low shrubs, with
moderately rising ground in front and on both sides. On
this elevation among the trees were the French and In-
dians, invisible to the English, but from their hiding-
places able to see every movement of the soldiers in the
ravine, and to take deliberate aim. The regulars were
thrown into confusion; the sight of their companions
shot down beside them by an invisible enemy, together
with the unearthly yells of the savages, sent a thrill of
horror through their souls. They were ordered to charge
bayonet up the hill, but no orders could induce them, to
leave the line. The enemy had been sent to occupy this
very position, but had arrived too late; now they were
spreading all along both sides of the ravine. The English
soldiers lost all control, and fired at random into the
woods, wherever they saw the smoke of an enemy's gun.
The advance party fell back upon the second division, and
threw it into still greater confusion. At this moment
Colonel Burton came up with a reinforcement, eight hun-
dred strong, but just as they had formed to face the
enemy, down upon them rushed the two foremost divi-
sions pell-mell ; all were crowded together in inextricable
confusion, and their officers were nearly all slain or
wounded. Now came Braddock himself. He ordered
the colors to advance, and the respective regiments to
THE BATTLE. 283
separate and form in ranks — but in vain. No orders were chap.
u a XXL
In a few minutes after the battle commenced the Vir- 1755,
ginia Rangers were behind trees, and rapidly picking off
the Indians ; but unfortunately many of these brave men
fell victims to the random shots of the regulars. Wash-
ington entreated Braddock to permit his soldiers to pro-
tect themselves, as the Virginians had done; but he
refused, and still persisted in striving to form them into
platoons, and when any sheltered themselves behind
trees, he called them cowards and struck them with the
flat of his sword. Thus, through his obstinacy, these un-
fortunate men became targets for the enemy. The offi-
cers exhibited the greatest bravery, and many of them
fell, as they were the special objects of the sharpshooters.
Two of the aids, Morris and Orme, were severely wound-
ed, and their duties devolved upon Washington. His
exposure was great, as he passed often from one part of
the field to another; yet he gave his orders with calmness
and judgment. When sent to bring up the artillery, he
found the Indians surrounding it, Sir Peter Halket, the
commander, killed, and the men paralyzed with fear.
He encouraged them, leaped from his horse, pointed a
field-piece and discharged it. It was useless; the men
deserted the guns. For three hours the desperate fight
lasted. During this time Braddock was in the centre of
the conflict, trying, in his way, to regain the field. His
officers had nearly all fallen, and his slain soldiers covered
the ground; still he would not permit the remainder to
adopt the Indian mode of fighting.
Five horses were shot under him, and finally he him-
self was mortally wounded. As he was falling from his
horse Captain Stewart, of the Virginia Guards, caught
him in his arms. As they bore him out of danger, he
begged to be left to die upon the field of his misfortune.
All was now abandoned. The fall of the general saved
284 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
oaAP. the army from entire destruction. The sodiers were now
1 at liberty to save themselves as best they could. " The
1755, regulars fled like sheep before hounds." The Virginia
Rangers threw themselves in the rear, and for some time
held the enemy in check. The wagoners mounted their
team-horses and fled ; all hurried to the ford, fiercely pur-
sued by the Indians. The love of plunder restrained the
pursuers, and after the fugitives had recrossed the river
they were not molested.
Washington rode all that night and the next day to
Dunbar's camp to obtain wagons to transport the
wounded, and soldiers to guard them. When he had
obtained these he hastened back to meet the fugitives.
Braddock was still able to issue orders, and seems to
have had a faint hope that he might hold out till he
could receive reinforcements. He was carried by the sol-
diers, being unable to mount a horse; — at length, the
fugitives arrived at Fort Necessity. The wounded gen-
eral appeared to be heart-broken. He scarcely spoke ; as
if reflecting on his past confidence in his troops, he would
occasionally ejaculate, "Who would have thought it?"
Tradition tells of his softened feelings toward those whom
he had treated harshly; of his gratitude to Captain Stew-
art for his care and kindness; of his apology to Washing-
ton for the manner in which he had received his advice.
On the night of the thirteenth of July he died. The next
morning, before the break of day, he was buried as sec-
retly as possible, lest the Indians, who were hovering
around, should find his grave and violate it. The chap-
lain was among the wounded, and Washington read the
funeral service. Near the National road, a mile west of
Fort Necessity, may be seen a rude pile of stones — the
work of some friendly hand, — it marks the grave of Brad-
dock. "His dauntless conduct on the field of battle
shows him to have been a man of spirit. His melancholy
end, too, disarms censure of its asperity. Whatever may
<y £L ^y~S^^(?L^Z^<yT^
THE FRONTIERS LEFT EXPOSED. 285
have been his faults and errors, he, in a manner expiated chap.
them by the hardest lot that can befall a brave soldier ~
ambitious of renown, — an unhonored grave in a strange 1755,
land, a memory clouded by misfortune, and a name ever
coupled with defeat." 1
The frightened Dunbar, though he had under his com-
mand fifteen hundred effective men, — enough, if properly
led, to have regained the field, — broke up his camp, de-
stroyed his stores, and retreated with all speed; only
when he had arrived safely in Philadelphia did he breathe
freely. His failure of duty left the frontiers exposed to
the inroads of the savages.
Of eighty-six officers, twenty-six had perished, and
thirty-six were wounded. Among the latter was Captain
Horatio Gates, who, twenty-five years later, was con-
spicuous as a major-general in the struggle for independ-
ence. Of the soldiers, more than seven hundred were
either killed or wounded. The gallant Virginia Rangers
had perished in great numbers, for upon them had fallen
the brunt of the battle. When it became known that
there were only two hundred and twenty-five French, and
about six hundred and fifty Indians in the battle, the dis-
grace was deeply felt, that this handful of men, sent
merely to hold the English in check, should have defeated
a well-equipped and disciplined army of nearly twice
their own number.
The religious sentiments of the colonists were greatly
shocked at the profanity, Sabbath-breaking, and almost
every form of vice and wickedness common in this boast-
ful army. So certain were the expectations of victory,
that preparations were made to celebrate it.
It is proper to notice the effect of these events upon
the minds of the colonists. With them the name of the
British regulars had lost its prestige — they were not in-
vincible. In addition, the haughtiness of the British
1 Washington Irving.
286 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, officers had inflicted wounds destined never to be healed.
- The attention of the people was directed especially to
1755 Washington. In a letter to his brother Augustine he
says: "By the all-powerful dispensation of Providence,
I have been protected beyond all human probability or
expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, two
horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, though death
was levelling my companions on every side around me."
The wonderful manner in which he had been preserved
in that day of peril, excited universal attention. No
doubt the Rev. Samuel Davies, one of the most celebrated
clergymen of the day, expressed the common sentiment,
when, in a sermon preached soon after Braddock's defeat,
he referred to him as " that heroic youth, Colonel Wash-
ington, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto
preserved in so signal a manner for some important ser-
vice to his country." Washington was never wounded in
battle ; he was shielded by the same protecting hand.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR— CONTINUED.
The French Acadiens; their simple Manners, Industry, and good
Morals. — Expulsion from their Homes, and mournful Exile. —
Expedition against Crown Point. — Baron Dieskau. — English
defeated. — Death of Colonel Williams. — Attack on Johnson's
Camp repulsed. — Death of Dieskau. — Williams College. — Indian
Ravages on the Frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania. — Kit-
tanning destroyed. — Lord Loudon Commander-in-chief. — His
tardiness and arbitrary Measures. — Montcalm acts with En-
ergy; captures Fort Ontario, then Fort William Henry. — Ex-
hausted condition of Canada.
In the mean time other expeditions were undertaken chap.
against the French. For this purpose Massachusetts XXIL
alone raised eight thousand soldiers, almost one-fifth part 1755 -
of her able-bodied men. A portion of Acadie or Nova
Scotia was still in the hands of the French. It consisted
of the isthmus on the northern part, which was defended
by two insignificant forts. For forty years, since the
peace of Utrecht, the peninsula had been under British
rule, and now the whole territory was completely sub-
dued. These forts, with scarcely any resistance, fell into June
the hands of the English. Sixteen years before the Pil- 16 -
grims landed at Plymouth this French colony was estab-
lished on the Peninsula of Acadie. It was the oldest per-
manent French settlement in North America. For one
hundred and fifty years the Acadiens had been gradually
clearing and improving their lands, and enjoying the com-
forts of rural life. At first their chief sources of wealth
had been the fisheries and the fur- trade; but these had
288 HISTORY OF THB AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, gradually given way to agriculture. Their social inter-
course was governed by a high tone of morals. Their
1755. differences, but few in number, were settled by the arbi-
tration of their old men. Seldom did they go with com-
plaints to their English rulers. Early marriages were
encouraged, and when a young man came of age, his
neighbors built him a house, and aided him for one year,
and the wife's friends aided her with gifts. Their fields
were fertile, and industry made them productive. Their
meadows, which now were covered with flocks of sheep
and herds of cattle, they had, by means of dikes, re-
deemed from the great flow of the tide. Their little cot-
tages dotted the landscape. In their domestic industry
each family provided for its own wants, and clothed its
members with cloth and linen made from the wool of
their flocks, or from the flax of their fields.
As Catholics, they were happy in the exercise of their
religion; though they belonged to the diocese of Quebec,
they were not brought into close relation with the people
of Canada. They knew but little of what was passing
beyond the limits of their own neighborhood. Independ-
ent of the world, they had its comforts, but not its luxu-
ries. They now numbered about seventeen thousand
inhabitants, and up to this time their English rulers had
left them undisturbed in their seclusion.
A dark cloud was hanging over this scene of rural
simplicity and comfort. As they were excused from bear-
ing arms against France by the terms of their surrender,
the Acadiens were known as "French neutrals;" neither
had they been required to take the usual oaths of allegi-
ance; they had promised submission to English au-
thority, to be neutral in times of war with France, and it
was understood they were to enjoy their religion. This
oath was one which, as good Frenchmen and good Catho-
lics, they could not take; it required them to bear arms
against their own brethren in Canada, and it might in-
THE OATHS OF ALLEGIANCE. 289
volve the interests of their religion. "Better," urged chap.
the priests, "surrender your meadows to the sea and
your houses to the flames, than at the peril of your souls
take the oath of allegiance to the British government."
But it was now to be exacted. "They possess the best
and largest tract of land in this province," writes Law-
rence, Lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, to Lord Hali-
fax; "if they refuse the oaths, it would be much better
that they were away." This "largest and best tract"
seems to have been coveted by their English rulers ; they
undoubtedly were suspicious of the Atddiens as Catholics,
and it is true some of their more ardent young men be-
longed, as volunteers, to the garrisons of the recently
captured forts; but as this simple-minded people had
neither the will nor the power to aid the enemies of Eng-
land, we cannot suppose that this suspicion alone induced
the British to visit upon them a severity so unparalleled.
The question of allegiance was, however, to be pressed to
the utmost ; if they refused to take the oath, the titles to
their lands were to be null and void. The haughty con-
duct of the British officers sent to enforce these orders
was to them a harbinger of sorrow. Their property was
wantonly taken for the public service, and " they not to
be bargained with for payment;" if they did not bring
wood at the proper time, " the soldiers might take their
houses for fuel." Their guns were taken, and their boats
seized, under the pretence that they intended to carry
provisions to the French. The English insisted upon
treating this people, so faithful to their country and their
religion, as lawless rebels. Wearied by these oppressions,
their deputies promised allegiance; they declared that
their conscience would not permit them to rebel against
their rulers, and they humbly asked that their arms and
boats might be restored. " The memorial is highly arro-
gant, insidious, and insulting," said the haughty Law-
rence; "guns do not belong to you by law, for you are
290 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Roman Catholics." After consultation with the people,
XXII . .
- the deputies offered to swear unconditionally. Then they
1755. were j-qI^ as ftiey had once refused, now they should not
be permitted to swear.
A calamity, as unexpected as it was dreadful, was at
hand. By proclamation, " the old men, and young men,
as well as all lads over ten years of age," were called upon
to assemble, on a certain day, the fifth of September, at
certain posts in their respective districts, to hear the
Sept. "wishes of the king." The call was obeyed. At Grand
Pre alone more than four hundred unsuspecting and un-
armed men and boys came together. They were gathered
into the church, its doors were closed, and Winslow, the
commander, announced to them the decision of the Brit-
ish government. They were to be banished forever from
their native province; from the fields they had cultivated,
from the pleasant homes where they had spent their
youth. They might not emigrate to lands offered them
among friends in Canada, lest they should add strength
to the French. They were to be driven forth as beggars
among their enemies, a people of a strange language and
of a different religion. They were retained as prisoners,
till the ships which were to bear them away were ready.
As soon as possible, their wives and little children were
also seized. On the day of embarkation, the young men
and boys were first ordered on board the ship; as their
parents and friends were not allowed to go with them,
they refused, fearing that if thus separated, they might
never meet again — a thought they could not bear. But
resistance and entreaties were useless ; driven by the bay-
onet, they were marched from the church to the ship,
which was a mile distant; their way was lined with weep-
ing friends, mothers, and sisters, who prayed for blessings
on their heads, and they themselves wept and prayed and
mournfully chanted psalms as they passed along. Then
in the same manner the fathers were driven on board
THE SORROWS OF THE EXILES. 291
another ship. The wives and children were left behind; chap.
these were kept for weeks near the sea without proper
shelter or food, shivering in December's cold, till ships 1755#
could come to take them away. " The soldiers hate them,
and if they can but find pretext will kill them." Thus
wrote an English officer who was engaged in this work of
In some places the object of the proclamation was
suspected, and the men and youth did not assemble. In
the vicinity of Annapolis some fled to the woods, with
their wives and children, some went to Canada, while
others threw themselves upon the hospitality of the In-
dians, from whom they received a hearty welcome. That
these poor people, who had fled to the woods, might be
compelled by starvation and exposure to give themselves
up, orders were issued to lay waste their homes, and the
whole country was made a desolation, from the village
and its church, to the peasant's cottage and barn. " For
successive evenings the cattle assembled round the smoul-
dering ruins, as if in anxious expectation of the return of
their masters; while all night long the faithful watch-
dogs howled over the scene of desolation, and mourned
alike the hand that had fed, and the house that had shel-
tered them." '
Seven thousand of these poor people were transported
and cast helpless on the shores of the English colonies,
from New Hampshire to Georgia. Families were sepa-
rated never to meet again. From time to time, for many
years afterward, advertisements in the newspapers of the
colonies told the tale of sorrow. Now they inquired for a
lost wife or husband, now brothers and sisters inquired
for each other; parents for their children, and children for
their parents. When any in after years attempted to
return they were driven off. Some of those taken to
1 Haliburton's History of Nova Scotia.
292 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Georgia could endure their banishment no longer. They
obtained boats, and coasted along the shore toward home;
1755. k u ^ a j as j wnen almost at the end of their perilous voy-
age, they were ordered away. Some wandered to Louis-
iana, where lands on the river above New Orleans, still
known as the Acadien coast, were assigned them.
This work of wanton cruelty was done by men, who
unblushingly congratulated the approving king that the
work of desolation had been so effectively accomplished —
a work, which, for its treachery and cowardly cruelty, de-
serves the reprobation of every human breast. " I know
not that the annals of the human race keep the record of
sorrows so wantonly inflicted, so bitter and so perennial,
as fell upon the French inhabitants of Acadie. The hand
of the English official seemed under a spell with regard ta
t'hem, and was never uplifted but to curse them." l
The expedition against Crown Point, on Lake Cham-
plain, had been intrusted to General William Johnson.
His troops were drawn precipitately from Massachusetts
and Connecticut; a regiment from New Hampshire
joined them at Albany. At the head of boat navigation
on the Hudson, a fort was built which, in honor of their
commander, whom they reverenced as " a brave and vir-
tuous man," the soldiers named Fort Lyman. But when
Johnson assumed the command he ungenerously changed
the name to Fort Edward. Leaving a garrison in this
fort, Johnson moved with about five thousand men to the
head of Lake George, and there formed a camp, intend-
ing to descend into Lake Champlain. Hendrick, the cele-
brated Mohawk chief, with his warriors, were among
these troops. Israel Putnam, too, was there, as a captain,
and John Stark as a lieutenant, each taking lessons in
The French were not idle; the district of Montreal
made the most strenuous exertions to meet the invading
THE ENGLISH FALL INTO AN AMBUSCADE. 293
foe. All the men who were able to bear arms were called chap.
into active service ; so that to gather in the harvest, their -
places were supplied by men from other districts. The 1755,
energetic Baron Dieskau resolved, by a bold attack, to
terrify the invaders. Taking with him two hundred reg-
ulars, and about twelve hundred Canadians and Indians,
he set out to capture Fort Edward ; but as he drew near,
the Indians heard that it was defended by cannon, which
they greatly dreaded, and they refused to advance. He
now changed his plan, and resolved to attack Johnson's
camp, which was supposed to be without cannon.
Meantime scouts had reported to Johnson, that they
had seen roads made through the woods in the direction
of Fort Edward. Not knowing the movements of Dies-
kau, a detachment of a thousand men, under Colonel
Ephraim Williams, of Massachusetts, and two hundred
Mohawks, under Hendrick, marched to relieve that post.
The French had information of their approach, and
placed themselves in ambush. They were concealed
among the thick bushes of a swamp, on the one side, and
rocks and trees on the other. The English recklessly
marched into the defile. They were vigorously attacked,
and thrown into confusion. Hendrick was almost in-
stantly killed, and in a short time Williams fell also. The 5 -
detachment commenced to retreat, occasionally halting
to check their pursuers. The firing was heard in the
camp; as the sound drew nearer and nearer, it was evi-
dent the detachment was retreating. The drums beat to
arms, trees were hastily felled and thrown together to
form a breastwork, upon which were placed a few cannon,
just arrived from the Hudson. Scarcely were* these prep-
arations made, when the panting fugitives appeared in
sight, hotly pursued by the French and Indians. Intend-
ing to enter the camp with the fugitives, Dieskau urged
forward his men with the greatest impetuosity. The mo-
ment the fugitives were past the muzzles of the cannon,
2Q4 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap they opened with a tremendous shower of grape, which
* XIL scattered the terrified Indians and checked the Cana-
"55- d i a ns, but the regulars pushed on. A determined contest
ensued, which lasted five hours, until the regulars were
nearly all slain, while the Indians and Canadians did but
little execution; they remained at a respectful distance
among the trees. At length the enemy began to retreat,
and the Americans leaped over the breastwork and pur-
sued them with great vigor. That same evening, after the
pursuit had ceased, as the French were retreating, they
were suddenly attacked with great spirit by the New
Hampshire regiment, which was on its way from Fort
Edward They were so panic-stricken by this new as-
sault, that they abandoned every thing, and fled for their
lives. . ,,
Dieskau had been wounded once or twice at the com-
mencement of the battle, but he never left his post; two
of his soldiers generously attempted to carry him out ot
danger, but when in the act one of them received his
death wound ; he urged the other to flee. In the midst of
flying bullets he calmly seated himself on the stump of a
neighboring tree. He was taken prisoner, kindly treated,
and sent to England, where he died.
Johnson was slightly wounded at the commencement
of the battle, and prudently retired from danger. To
General Lyman belongs the honor of the victory, yet
Johnson, in his report of the battle, did not even mention
his name. Johnson, for his exertions on that day, was
made a baronet, and received from royal favor a gift of
twenty-five thousand dollars. He had friends at court,
but Lyman was unknown.
Colonel Ephraim Williams, who fell in this battle,
while passing through Albany had taken the precaution
to make his will, in which he bequeathed property to
found a free school in western Massachusetts, lnat
school has since grown into Williams CoLLEGE-a mon-
INDIAN VILLAGE OF KITTANNING DESTROYED. 295
ument more honorable than one of granite, one fraught chap.
with blessings to future generations. -
Johnson, instead of pushing on to take advantage of 1755,
the victory, loitered in his camp, and finally built and
garrisoned a useless wooden fort, which he named Wil-
As has been mentioned, the retreat of Dunbar left the
frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania subject to the hor-
rors of savage warfare. Washington was intrusted with
their defence, but so few men had he at his command,
and they so scattered, as to afford but little protection.
The distant settlers of Virginia were driven in, and the
beautiful valley of the Shenandoah became almost a deso-
lation. Governor Dinwiddie, as an apology for not fur-
nishing more soldiers, wrote : " We dare not part with any
of our white men to any distance, as we must have a
watchful eye over our negro slaves." In one of his letters,
Washington says: "The supplicating tears of women
and moving petitions of the men, melt me into such
deadly sorrow, that for the people's ease, I could offer
myself a willing sacrifice to the treacherous enemy. "
The village of Kittanning, twenty or thirty miles up
the Alleghany, above Fort Du Quesne, was the head-
quarters of a notable Indian chief, known as Captain
Jacobs. Incited by the French, he and his bands made
many murderous incursions against the settlements of
Pennsylvania. His associate was the Delaware chief
Shingis. Benjamin Franklin, who had been appointed
colonel by the governor, had organized the Pennsylvania
militia to protect the frontiers, and after his resignation,
Colonel John Armstrong, afterward a major-general in
the Revolutionary war, was chosen in his place. He re-
solved to destroy these Indians and their village. Three
hundred Pennsylvanians volunteered for the enterprise.
In the latter part of September they set out on horseback
across the mountains, and in a few days came into the
296 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, vicinity of Kittanning, at night. They heard the savages
. - carousing and yelling; they left their horses, approached
g^ - the village, and arranged the order of attack. The night
was warm, the Indians soon began to separate, some to
sleep in the corn-fields near by, and some in wigwams. As
day began to dawn, the Americans surrounded the party,
and, at a given signal, rushed to the attack. The Indians
were taken by surprise, but soon the voice of Jacobs was
heard loud above the din, cheering on his warriors, and
shouting, " We are men, we will not be prisoners." The
wigwams were set on fire, and warriors were heard singing
their death-song in the midst of the flames. Jacobs at-
tempted to break through the surrounding foe, but his
career was cut short by a rifle-ball. This nest of savage
murderers was entirely broken up; the survivors went
further west, and for a season the frontiers had peace.
Lord Loudon was appointed a sort of viceroy of all the
colonies. He sent General Abercrombie as his lieutenant,
having suspended Governor Shirley, and ordered him to
June, repair to England. Abercrombie arrived in June, and
brought with him several British regiments. It was con-
fidently expected that something important would now
be done. These royal gentlemen had an army of seven
thousand men at Albany, but, as the Frenchmen had
said, they were "slow and dilatory," — they spent the
summer in adjusting the rank of the officers. The sol-
diers of the colonies, though they had, by their indomit-
able courage, saved the remnant of the British army on
the banks of the Monongahela, though, at Lake George,
they had driven the enemy before them, and had de-
fended their soil and maintained the honor of the English
name, yet they were not permitted to elect their own
officers, and if they were appointed by the colonial gov-
ernors, those of the same rank by royal appointment
took the precedence. These were the petty annoyances
dictated by little minds, that aided so much in alienating
FORTS ONTARIO AND WILLIAM HENRY CAPTURED. 297
the colonists from the mother country, and in the end chap.
leading them to independence. -
While the English were thus trifling, Montcalm, the 1756,
successor of Dieskau, was acting. With five thousand
Frenchmen, Canadians, and Indians, he darted across the
lake, and suddenly presented himself at the gates of Fort
Ontario, at the mouth of the Oswego. He met with a
vigorous resistance; not until they had lost all hope of
receiving aid, and their brave commander, Colonel Mer-
cer, was killed, did the garrison surrender. An immense Aug.
amount of military stores fell into the hands of Mont- 14 *
calm ; he sent the captured flags to adorn the churches of
Canada, and to please the Iroquois, who promised neu-
trality, he demolished the fort. Though it was known
that this important post was threatened, yet no means
were taken to relieve it. Thus Loudon planned and
counterplanned, accomplished nothing, and then with-
drew from his arduous labors into winter-quarters. He
demanded free quarters for his officers of the citizens of
Albany, New York, and Philadelphia. As the demand
was " contrary to the laws of England and the liberties of
America," they refused to accede to it. He threatened to
bring his soldiers and compel them to submit to the out-
rage. The citizens, in their weakness, raised subscrip-
tions to support for the winter those who had wasted the
resources of the country. Thus a military chief invaded,
not merely the political rights of the people, but the
sanctities of their domestic life.
Montcalm was undisturbed in making preparations to
capture Fort William Henry, before which he appeared, 1757.
the next year, with a large French and Indian force. The
garrison numbered about three thousand men, under
Colonel Monroe, a brave officer, who, when summoned to
surrender, indignantly refused, and immediately sent to
General Webbe, at Fort Edward, fifteen miles distant,
for aid. He could have relieved Monroe, for he had four
298 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, thousand men at his disposal, but when Putnam obtained
- permission to go to the aid of the fort, and had proceeded
1757, some miles with his rangers, Webbe recalled him. Then
he sent a letter to Monroe advising him to surrender. This
letter fell into the hands of Montcalm, who was on the
point of raising the siege, but he now sent the letter to
Monroe, with another demand to surrender. The brave
veteran would not capitulate, but held out till half his
guns were rendered useless. Montcalm was too brave and
generous not to appreciate nobleness in others, and he
granted him the privilege of marching out with the hon-
Aug. ors of war. The only pledge he asked, was that the sol-
9 * diers should not engage in war against the French for
eighteen months. They were to retain their private prop-
erty, and Canadian and Indian prisoners were to be re-
Montcalm held a council of the Indians, who con-
sented to the terms of the treaty, though they were sadly
disappointed in their hopes of plunder. He refused them
rum, and thus he could restrain them ; but, unfortunately
the night after the surrender they obtained it from the
English. In the morning they were frantic from the
effects of intoxication, and when the garrison were leav-
ing their camp, they fell upon the stragglers. The
French officers did all they could to restrain them, and
some were even wounded in their exertions to save the
English soldiers from savage violence. Montcalm, in his
agony, cried, "Kill me, but spare the English; they are
under my protection." Instead of an orderly retreat to
Fort Edward, it was a flight.
Thus the French, with a population in Canada, not
one- twentieth part as great as that of the English colo-
nies, seemed triumphant everywhere. Was it strange
that the colonists began to lose their respect for those sent
to protect them from their enemies — especially for the
officers? They believed the interference of the home
government hindered the advancement of their cause,
CANADA EXHAUSTED. 299
while the majority of the royalist governors seemed to be chap.
actuated by no worthier motive than that of promoting
their own interests. 1757 '
Though the French were thus victorious, and pos-
sessed the valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi,
and apparently all the continent, except a little strip
along the Atlantic coast, yet Canada was exhausted.
The struggle was virtually over. Her men had been
drawn to the battle-field, while their farms were left un-
titled, and now famine was beginning to press upon the
people. Their cattle and sheep were destroyed, and horse-
flesh was made to supply the place of beef; no aid could
come from France, as nearly all intercourse was cut off by
the ever-present British cruisers. The French owed their
success, not to their own strength, but to the imbecility
of the English commanders.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR, CONTINUED.
William Pitt, Prime Minister — Lord Amherst, Commander-in-chief.
— Plan of Operations. — Louisburg captured. — Abercrombie on
Lake George; Repulse and Retreat. — Bradstreet captures Fort
Frontenac. — Expedition against Fort Du Quesne. — Colonel
Grant. — Washington takes possession of the Fort; resigns his
Commission. — Ticonderoga abandoned; the French retire to
Canada. — Wolfe appears before Quebec. — Exertions of Mont-
calm. — The British on the Heights of Abraham. — The Battle. —
Deaths of Wolfe and Montcalm; their Memories. — Quebec ca-
pitulates. — The Cherokee War. — Destruction of their Crops and
Villages; their Revenge. — Pontiac; his Character and Plans. — ■
Desolations along the Frontiers. — General Bouquet. — Pontiac's
chap. The people of England were not indifferent spectators of
. 1 these failures; they noticed the feeble manner in which
1757 - the war was conducted, and attributed the want of suc-
cess to the inefficiency of those in command.
Through their influence, William Pitt, one of them-
selves, not of the aristocracy, was called to the head of
affairs. He appreciated the character and patriotism of
the colonists. Instead of devising measures that would
impoverish them, he, at once, assumed the expenses of
the war; announced that the money they had already
spent for that purpose should be refunded, and that for
the future such expenses would be borne by the home
government ; also arms and clothing should be furnished
the soldiers who would enlist. This act of justice brought
into the field fifty thousand men — a number greater than
that of the entire male population of Canada at that
PLAN OF OPERATIONS. 301
Lord Jeffrey Amherst was appointed commander-in- chap.
chief of the British army. He had for his lieutenant the -
young and talented James Wolfe, who, although but 1757 '
thirty-one years of age, had spent eighteen of those years
in the army, where, by his noble bearing, he had won for
himself the admiration of both friends and foes.
According to the general plan, Amherst himself was to
head the expedition against Louisburg and Quebec ; while
General Forbes was to capture Fort Du Quesne and take
possession of the valley of the Ohio, and Abercrombie to
take Ticonderoga, the French stronghold on Lake Cham-
plain. With Abercrombie was associated Lord Howe,
who was characterized as the soul of the enterprise. June,
On the 8th of June, Amherst landed with his forces 1758,
near the city of Louisburg. Under the cover of a fire
from the ships Wolfe led the first division. He forbade a
gun to be fired, urged on the rowers, and in the face of
the enemy leaped into the water and, followed by his men,
waded to the shore. The French deserted their outposts,
and retired to the fortress in the town. After a bombard-
ment of fifty days, when the French shipping in the har-
bor was destroyed, and all hope of receiving assistance at
an end, the fortress surrendered. At the same time were juiy
given up the islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward, 27 *
five thousand prisoners, and an immense amount of mili-
Abercrombie and Lord Howe advanced against Ticon-
deroga. Their army, which amounted to seven thousand
English and nine thousand Americans, assembled at the
head of Lake George. They passed in flat-boats down
to the foot of the lake, where they disembarked and hur-
ried on toward Ticonderoga; but through the ignorance
of their guide, missed their way, and the advance fell into j u i y
an ambuscade of a French scouting party. The enemj 6 -
was soon put to flight, but Lord Howe fell at the head Q?
302 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, his men. His death threw a doom over the camp — the
1 soldiers had confidence in no other leader. Their fore-
1758. bodmgg were soon realized. The British engineer recon-
noitred the French works, and reported them as weak;
but Stark, who knew their strength, affirmed they were
strong and well furnished. Abercrombie believed his en-
gineer, and without waiting for his artillery, he ordered an
attack. His soldiers performed prodigies of valor, but
were forced to retire, with a loss of two thousand of their
number. In this battle was wounded Charles Lee, then a
captain, and afterward a major-general in the Revolution-
ary army. The indefatigable Montcalm had disposed his
small army to the very best advantage, and was present
wherever he was specially needed. Abercrombie ordered
his men to attempt an impossibility, but judiciously kept
himself out of danger. The English army was yet four to
one of the French, and could have conquered with the aid
of the cannon which had been brought up, yet Abercrom-
bie hastily retreated. As Montcalm's troops were few
and exhausted, he did not attempt to pursue him.
The monotony of disasters was disturbed by Colonel,
Bradstreet, of New York, who, after much solicitation,
obtained permission to go against Fort Frontenac, which,
from its position at the foot of Lake Ontario, commanded
that lake and the St. Lawrence. It was a central point
for trading with the Indians; a great magazine which
supplied all the posts on the upper lakes and Ohio with
military stores. With twenty-seven hundred men, all
Americans, principally from New York and Massachu-
setts, Bradstreet passed rapidly and secretly to Oswego,
and thence across the lake in open boats, and landed
Aug. within a mile of the fort. The majority of the garrison,
terrified at the sudden appearance of enemies, fled; the
next day the remainder surrendered. There was found
an immense amount of military stores, some of them des-
tined for Fort Du Quesne, and a fleet of nine armed ves-
THE HIGHLANDERS ROUTED. 303
sels, which held the command of the lake. The fort was chap.
razed to its foundations, two of the vessels were laden -
with stores and brought to Oswego; the remaining stores 17
and ships were destroyed.
The troops raised in Pennsylvania for the expedition
under General Forbes against Fort Du Quesne were as-
sembled at Raystown, on the Juniata. Washington was
at Cumberland, with the Virginian regiment. His plan
was to march directly upon the fort by the road which
Braddock had made. This common-sense plan was re-
jected, and the suggestions of some land speculators
adopted, and Forbes ordered a new road to be cut
through the wilderness further north.
General Bouquet with the advance passed over the
Laurel Hill, and established a post at Loyal Hanna.
Without permission he despatched Major Grant with
eight hundred Highlanders and a company of Virginians
to reconnoitre in the vicinity of Fort Du Quesne. Grant Sept.
was permitted to approach unmolested, though the 15#
French knew from their scouts of all his movements. As
he drew near, he sent a party to take a plan of the fort,
and placed Major Lewis with the Virginians to guard the
baggage, as if they were not to be trusted in the contest.
Not a gun was fired from the fort. Grant self-compla-
cently attributed this to the dread his regulars had in-
spired. All this time the Indians lay quietly in ambush,
waiting for the signal to commence the attack. Pres-
ently out rushed the garrison, and attacked the High-
landers in front, while in a moment the fearful war-whoop
arose on both flanks. Terrified at the unusual contest,
they were thrown into confusion; their bewildered offi-
cers began to manoeuvre them as if in the open field.
Major Lewis with some of his party hastened to the
rescue, and there fought hand to hand with the savages.
The detachment, overpowered by numbers, was com-
304 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, pletely routed, and Grant and Lewis were both made
- prisoners. The fugitives soon reached the place where
1758. ^gy j e fj. foe baggage. Captain Bullit hastily formed a
barricade with the wagons, behind which he waited the
approach of the pursuers. When they were within a few
yards, the Virginians poured in a fire so direct and deadly
as to check them. They soon rallied and again ap-
proached. This time, Captain Bullit and his men ad-
vanced, as if to surrender, but when within eight yards
he again poured in an effective fire, and immediately
charged bayonet. The pursuers were so astonished at
the suddenness and manner of attack that they fled in
dismay, while the Virginians retreated with all speed.
When the news of this disaster reached the main
army, it well-nigh ruined the whole enterprise; as a coun-
cil of war decided to give up the attempt for that year,
as it was now November, and there were yet fifty miles of
unbroken forest between them and the fort. Just then
some prisoners were brought in, from whom the defence-
less condition of the fort was learned. Washington was
given the command of a division with which to push for-
ward. In a few days they arrived in the neighborhood of
Du Quesne. Instead of meeting with a vigorous resist-
ance, they were surprised to learn that the place had been
abandoned the day before. The French commander had
blown up his magazines, burned every building that
would burn, and with his company gone on board of flat-
Nov. boats and floated down the Ohio. On the twenty-fifth of
25. November, Washington marched into the deserted fort,
and planted the English colors. An impulse of grateful
feeling changed the name to Fort Pitt — since Pittsburg,
in honor of the illustrious man — the first of English states-
men, who appreciated the character of the American colo-
nists, and who was willing to do them justice. Situated
at the head of the Ohio, in a region celebrated for its agri-
cultural and mineral wealth, and settled by a moral and
PLAN OF OPERATIONS AGAINST CANADA. 305
industrious population, it has far exceeded in importance chap.
any other acquisition made during the war. A fit monu- 1
ment to the memory of the "Great Commoner." 1758 >
The object of the campaign thus secured, Washington,
leaving two Virginia regiments to garrison the fort, re-
signed his commission and retired to private life. In the
mean time he had been elected a member of the House of
Burgesses. A few months afterward, on the opening of
the session, the House, by vote, resolved to receive the
youthful champion with some befitting manifestation of
its regard. Accordingly, when he took his seat as a mem-
ber, the Speaker addressed him, giving him thanks for the
military services he had rendered his country. Taken by
surprise, Washington rose to reply, but words were want-
ing; he faltered and blushed. " Sit down, Mr. Washing-
ton^ kindly said the Speaker; "your modesty equals
your valor, and that surpasses the power of any language
This year closed with great advantages to the English.
The cunning Indians — still true to the winning side — be-
gan to desert the French, and to form treaties of peace or
neutrality with their enemies. The comprehensive mind
of Pitt was devising plans to crush the French power in
America. He promptly paid all the expenses incurred by
the colonists during the past year, and they with alacrity
entered into his schemes. Wolfe was to ascend the St.
Lawrence*; Amherst was to advance by way of Lake
Champlain, and capture Montreal, and then join Wolfe
before Quebec; while General Prideaux was to capture
Fort Niagara, and pass down Lake Ontario to Montreal.
As Amherst advanced against Ticonderoga, the 1759.
French abandoned that post, and the others as he ap- July
proached; he wasted his time in fortifying the places
deserted by the enemy, as if they who were so exhausted
as to be scarcely able to get out of his way, would ever
return! Though General Prideaux was unfortunately
306 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, killed by the bursting of a gun, yet Sir William Johnson,
on whom the command devolved, took Niagara ; and thus
1759. fae chain which joined the French forts of Canada, with
those of the valley of the Mississippi, was broken forever.
June The fleet and troops designed against Quebec, assem-
27 * bled at Louisburg. In the latter part of June the arma-
ment arrived at the Isle of Orleans, upon which the
troops immediately landed. The rock on which stood the
citadel of St. Louis, could be seen to the west looming up
more than three hundred feet, bidding defiance to the
invaders. In the rear were the Heights of Abraham, a
plain extending for miles, while all along the shore the
high cliffs seemed to be an impregnable defence.
To meet this force, Montcalm had only a few enfeebled
battalions and Canadian militia. The Indians held them-
selves aloof. The English fleet consisted of twenty-two
ships of the line, and as many frigates. As master of one
of these ships was Captain James Cook, afterward cele-
brated as the discoverer of the many isles of the Pacific.
Under Wolfe were four young and ardent commanders,
Robert Monckton, afterward governor of New York;
George Townshend, and James Murray, and also Colonel
Howe, afterward Sir William, who for a time commanded
the British army in the American Revolution.
Quebec, situated on a peninsula between the St. Law-
rence and the river St. Charles, was defended on three
sides by these rivers, leaving only the west exposed. The
lower town was on the beach, while the upper was on the
cliff two hundred feet above. The high cliffs of the north
shore of the St. Lawrence were deemed a sufficient de-
fence. It was thought impossible for an army to scale
them. Below on the St. Lawrence, between the St.
Charles and the Montmorenci rivers, was Montcalm's
camp, guarded by many floating batteries and ships of
war. But the naval superiority of the English soon ren-
dered them masters of the water.
THE RESOLVE TO SCALE THE HEIGHTS. 307
The French troops were driven from Point Levi, di- chap.
rectly opposite Quebec, and Wolfe erected batteries on -
that spot, and began to bombard the lower town, which 17 9#
was soon reduced to ashes ; but owing to the distance, the
fortress and the upper town could not be injured. Wolfe
then passed over to the north side of the river, below the
Montmorenci, intending to pass that stream, and force
Montcalm to a battle.
When this design was carried into effect, the first
division, consisting of the grenadiers, rashly rushed on to
storm the French lines before the second division could
come up to support them. They were repulsed, with a
loss of nearly five hundred men. Diversions were also
made above the town to induce the enemy to come into
the open field, but without success. Montcalm merely
sent De Bougainville with fifteen hundred men to guard
against these attacks.
The repulse at Montmorenci occasioned the sensitive July,
Wolfe much suffering. He looked for the tardy Amherst,
but in vain! No tidings came from him, and it seemed
as if the enterprise, the first under his own command ;
was about to fail. He was thrown into a violent fever by
his anxiety. As a last resort, it was resolved, in a coun-
cil held around his bed, to scale the Heights of Abraham.
In order to do this, the French must be deceived. There-
fore Captain Cook was sent to take soundings and place
buoys opposite Montcalm's camp, as if that was to be the
special object of attack. Meantime, the shore for many
miles above the town, was carefully examined. At one
place was found a little indentation in the bank, from
which a path wound up the cliff, — there they determined
to make the attempt. This is now known as Wolfe's
Cove. The troops were put on shipboard and suddenly
sailed up the river, as if intending to pass beyond the
French lines and there land. At night the ships lay to,
and the troops, in boats, dropped down with the tide to
308 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Wolfe's Cove, followed by the ships designed to cover
- their landing, if necessary. As they passed, a French
1759, sentinel hailed them with the inquiry, " Who goes there? ''
"La France," answered a captain. "What regiment?"
"The Queen's" — that being one of the regiments up the
river with Bougainville. The sentinel was deceived.
They passed on to the Cove, and quietly landing began to
grope their way up the cliff, clinging to the shrubs and
rocks for support. In the morning the entire army was
on the Heights of Abraham, ready for battle.
Sept. Montcalm was thunderstruck, when he heard the
3 - news. "It must surely be, ' ' said he, " a small party come
to pillage, and then retire." More correct information
revealed to him the whole truth. There was no time to
be lost. He sent immediately for the detachment of
Bougainville, which was fifteen miles up the river. The
Indians and Canadians advanced first, and subjected the
English to an irregular, and galling fire. Wolfe ordered
his men to reserve their fire for the French regulars,
who were rapidly approaching. When they were within
forty yards, the English poured upon them a stream of
musketry, aided by grape-shot from a few guns dragged
up the cliff by the sailors. It was a fierce conflict. The
respective commanders were opposite to each other.
Wolfe, although wounded twice, continued to give his
orders with clearness ; but as he advanced with the grena-
diers, who were to make their final charge with the bay-
onet, he received a ball in the breast. He knew the
wound was mortal, and when falling said to the officer
nearest to him : " Let not my brave fellows see me fall."
He was carried to the rear; when asked if he would have
a surgeon, he answered : " It is needless ; it is all over with
me." As his life was fast ebbing, the cry was raised —
"See, they run! they run!" "Who run!" asked the
dying man. "The enemy, sir," was the answer. "Do
they run already?" he asked with evident surprise.
't0t0*w3& r ~ ■
WOLFE AND MONTCALM. 309
Summoning his failing energies, " Go one of you, to Gol- chap.
onel Burton," said he; "tell him to march Webb's regi- -
ment with all speed down to Charles river, to cut off the ^5'
retreat by the bridge." Then turning upon his side, he 13.
murmured, "Now God be praised, I die happy." These
were the last words of the young hero, in whom were
centred the hopes of his soldiers and of his country.
Monckton was severely wounded, and the command de-
volved upon Townshend, who, content with being master
of the field, called the troops from the pursuit. Just at
the close of the battle Bougainville appeared with his
division ; but the contest was declined.
There is a peculiar interest attached to the name and
character of Wolfe. A mind sensitive in its emotions and
vigorous in its thoughts, animated his feeble body. He
maintained a love for the quieter paths of literature, even
amid the excitements of the camp. On the clear star-
light night preceding the battle, as the boat in which he
was seated with his officers was silently floating down the
St. Lawrence, he recited to them that classic poem,
Gray's "Elegy in a Country Church-yard;" then just
published. Death seems to have already cast its dark
shadow upon him, and doubtless many of the finer pas-
sages of the poem were in accordance with his subdued
and melancholy emotions. Then for a time the aspira-
tions of the man of feeling and poetic taste triumphed over
the sterner ambition of the warrior, and at its close he ex-
claimed: "I would rather be the author of that poem
than to take Quebec to-morrow."
The brave and generous Montcalm was mortally
wounded near the close of th6 battle. When carried into
the city, the surgeon informed him that he could survive
only a few hours. "So much the better," he calmly re-
plied, " I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec."
When asked his advice about defending the city, he an-
310 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, swered: "To your keeping I commend the honor of
France. I will neither give orders nor interfere any fur-
ther; I have business of greater moment to attend to;
my time is short; I shall pass this night with God, and
prepare myself for death." He then wrote a letter to the
English commander, commending to his favor the French
prisoners. The next morning he died. That generation
passed away, and with it the animosity which existed be-
1827. tween the conquerors and the conquered. The united
people of another generation erected a granite monument,
on which they inscribed the names of Montcalm and
Sept. Five days after the battle Quebec surrendered. There
were great rejoicings both in America and England.
Praises were lavished upon Pitt. He in Parliament re-
plied, "I will aim to serve my country, but the more a
man is versed in business, the more he finds the hand of
Providence everywhere." The next year an attempt was
made by the French to recover Quebec, but it failed. An
overwhelming force was brought against Montreal. Re-
sistance was vain, and Vaudreuil, the governor, surren-
dered all the French stations on the Lakes. The troops
were to be sent home, and the Canadians, protected in
their property, were to enjoy their religious privileges.
Thus passed away the French power in Canada. De-
pendent upon the mother country, the inhabitants had
never exercised the right of self-government ; they lacked
the energy essential to success as an independent people.
They have assimilated but little with their conquerors.
They still preserve that gay simplicity of manners, so
characteristic of their nation, and an ardent attachment
to the church of their fathers.
Meantime disturbances had occurred on the south-
west. The Cherokees had always been the friends of the
English, and had undertaken to protect the frontiers
south of the Potomac, yet for this their warriors, when
WITH THE CHEROKEES. 311
about to return home, received no reward from the gov- chap.
ernment — not even supplies of food for their journey.
What the State failed to do was done by Washington and
his officers, who supplied their- wants. The next year
more Cherokees joined the expedition under Forbes
against Fort Du Quesne. As they were returning home
along the western borders of Virginia, to avoid starvation
they helped themselves to what they wanted. This led
to quarrels with the backwoodsmen, who killed and
scalped some of their number. When this was told in the
land of the Cherokees, it caused sorrow, indignation, and
alarm; the women, relatives of those who were slain,
poured forth deep and bitter wailings for the dead; the
young warriors, indignant, armed themselves for revenge;
the old men cautioned and counselled, and did all in their
power to prevent war, but in vain; two white men fell
victims to the rage of the young warriors. Tiftoe and
five other chieftains went to Charleston to beg for peace,
and to heal differences. The governor, the haughty and
arbitrary Lyttleton, demanded that the young men who, Oct.,
according to the ideas of the sons of the forest, had vindi- 1759#
cated the honor of their nation, " should be delivered up
or put to death in their own land.' 7 This, the Cherokees
thought, would only add fuel to the flame already kin-
dled. The legislature decided unanimously that there
was no cause for war. News came from the frontier that
all was peaceful; " there were no bad talks." The obsti-
nate governor persisted in his demand, and created more
disturbance. Then he told the chiefs who wished for
peace to come to him and hold a talk, and promised them
safe conduct to and from Charleston. Trusting to his
word, the great warrior Oconostata came with thirty
others. But Lyttleton must obtain for himself the glory
of a successful expedition against the Cherokees. He
called out the militia in spite of the remonstrances of the
people, of the legislature, and of his own council, and
312 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, basely retained as prisoners, those who had trusted his
1 word. He marched into the country of the Cherokees,
1759. f orce d a treaty from the feeble old chief, who had no au-
thority to make one, and then returned in fancied tri-
umph. Oconostata and a few others were liberated.
The remainder Lyttleton ordered to be kept prisoners at
Fort Prince George till twenty-four warriors should be
given up to him. Oconostata made an attempt to
liberate his friends. In this effort a white man was
killed ; then, in revenge, the garrison murdered the pris-
oners. Now the rage of the Cherokees knew no bounds.
They exclaimed : " The spirits of our murdered brothers
are flying around us screaming for vengeance." The leg-
islature strongly condemned the perfidious conduct of
Lyttleton, and asserted their "birth-rights as British
subjects," and affirmed that he had "violated their un-
doubted privileges." Yet this very man received the
highest commendations from the "Board of Trade."
The Cherokees, driven to desperation by such treat-
ment, called to their aid the Muscogees, and sent to
Louisiana for military supplies. The Carolinians applied
to General Amherst, who sent them twelve hundred men,
1760. principally Highlanders, under General Montgomery.
They, with the Carolinians, pressed forward, by forced
marches, into the land of the Cherokees. Why give the
details of desolated settlements? Village after village
was destroyed, and fertile valleys laid waste. On the
upper Savannah was the beautiful vale of Keowee, " the
delight of the Cherokees." They had become so far civil-
ized as to build comfortable houses, and to surround them
with cultivated fields. Suddenly appeared the invaders.
The great majority of the Indians, after an attempt at
Jul y< defence, fled, and from the distant mountain-tops saw the
enemy burning their houses and destroying their crops.
"I cannot help pitying them a little," writes Colonel
Grant ; " their villages are agreeably situated, their houses
neatly built. There were everywhere astonishing maga- chap.
zines of corn, which were all consumed." -
After this dash at the Cherokees, Montgomery imme- 1760,
diately retreated to the north, as ordered by Amherst
The Indians were not subdued, but enraged; they con
tinued to ravage the back settlements of the Carolinas.
Immediately after the surrender of Canada, all the 1763.
French stations on the lakes were occupied by the con-
querors, and the little stockade posts throughout all that
region, and in the valley of the Ohio, were garrisoned by
a few men, in many instances not exceeding twenty. The
French, either as traders or as religious teachers, had won
the confidence and the affection of the Indians, by a
friendly intercourse extending through more than half a
century. Was it strange that the contrast appeared great
to them, between these friends and companions and the
domineering English soldiers, who insulted their priests
and vilified their religion? The French had prohibited
the trade in rum, but the English introduced the traffic,
and the demoralization of the Indians commenced. The
capture of Fort Du Quesne was the signal for a torrent
of emigration, which poured over the mountains into the
valleys of the Monongahela and Alleghany. The Indians
feared the pale-faces would drive them from their homes.
Adopted into the tribe of the Ottawas, was a Catawba,
who had been brought from the South as a prisoner, but
who had, by his genius and bravery, risen to be a chief.
He had the most unbounded influence over his own and
other tribes, and was styled " the king and lord of all the
country of the north-west." "How dare you come to
visit my country without my leave?" demanded he of the
first English officer who came to take possession of the
French forts. Such was Pontiac, the Philip of the north-
west, who, in the war which bears his name, made the last
great struggle for the independence of the Red Man.
This master spirit planned, and partially executed, one of
314 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, the most comprehensive schemes ever conceived by In-
dian sagacity to expel the invaders, and maintain his own
5763. au thority as " king and lord" of all that region. He in-
duced the Delawares, the Shawnees, the Senecas, the
Miamis, and many lesser tribes, who roamed over the vast
region in the basin of the upper lakes, in the valley of the
Ohio, and a portion of that of the Mississippi, to join in
the conspiracy. He sent a prophet through the land to
proclaim that the Great Spirit had revealed to him, " that
if the English were permitted to dwell in their midst, then
the white man's diseases and poisons would utterly de-
stroy them." This conspiracy was more than a year in
forming, yet .it was kept a profound secret.
Detroit had the largest garrison, was the great centre
for the trade of the upper lakes, and most important in
its influence. Here the French were numerous; they
tilled their farms, as well as engaged in the traffic of furs.
Pontiac desired to obtain possession of the fort. He inti-
mated that he was coming with his warriors to have a
"talk" with his English brothers. Meantime, Gladwin,
the commander, had learned of the conspiracy. Finding
that the plot was discovered, Pontiac threw off the mask,
and boldly attacked the fort, but without success. This
was the commencement of a series of surprises; the In-
dians, in the short space of three weeks, captured every
station west of Niagara, except Detroit and Pittsburg.
The soldiers of the garrisons were nearly all put to death >
more than one hundred traders were murdered and
scalped in the wilderness, and more than five hundred
families, after losing hundreds of their members, were
driven from their homes on the frontiers. A large force
from several tribes concentrated around Pittsburg, the
most important post in the valley of the Ohio; yet the
brave garrison could not be caught by their wiles, nor
conquered by their arms. Their ravages, in the mean
while, extended to all the settlements and posts on the
INDIANS DEFEATED — PITTSBURG RELIEVED. 315
head-waters of the Ohio, and on the lakes to the region chap.
. . XXIII.
between the Mississippi and the Ohio. -
General Bouquet was sent from Eastern Pennsylvania 1763,
to relieve Fort Ligonier, just at the western foot of the
mountains, and Pittsburg. His army consisted of not
more than five hundred effective men, principally Scotch
Highlanders. They had with them a train of wagons,
drawn by oxen, and pack-horses laden with military
stores and necessary provisions, and a drove of beef cat-
tle. Passing through a region desolated by the savages,
they saw the remains of burnt cabins, and the harvests
standing uncut in the fields.
When he arrived at Ligonier, Bouquet could learn
nothing from the west, as all intercourse had been cut off.
Leaving there his wagons and cattle, he pushed forward
to ascertain the fate of Pittsburg. The Indians besieging
that place, heard of his approach, and they resolved to
place themselves in ambush, and defeat his army. As
soon as the battle began, the Highlanders dashed at them
with the bayonet, and the Indians fled; but when the
pursuit slackened they rallied, and were again repulsed.
At length, the number of the savages increased so much
that they completely surrounded the Highlanders, who,
during the night, encamped on the ridge of a hill. In the
morning they could not advance, for their wounded men
and baggage would fall into the hands of the enemy. Plac-
ing two companies in ambush, Bouquet began to retreat,
and immediately, with exulting yells, the Indians rushed
on in pursuit, but when they came to the right point,
those in ambush charged them on both sides, and those
retreating wheeled and charged also. Panic-stricken by
the suddenness of the attack, the savages broke and fled.
The division then moved on to Pittsburg. From that
day the valley of the Ohio was free from Indian violence.
The stream of emigration began again to pour over the
316 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, mountains. The tribes, disheartened, began to make
- treaties and promise peace. Pontiac would make no
1764, treaty, nor acknowledge himself a friend of the English.
He left his home and tribe and went to the country of
1769- the Illinois, where he was assassinated.
For nearly three-quarters of a century a dispute had
existed between the authorities of the colonies of Penn-
sylvania and Maryland in respect to their boundary line.
Finally, a compromise was agreed upon by which a start-
1760. ing-point was to be taken " fifteen English statute miles
south of the latitude of the most southerly part of Phila-
delphia." This point was to be on the circumference or
tangent of a circle whose center was New Castle — now in
Delaware — and radius twelve miles; from that "fifteen-
mile point a line was to be run due west across the Susque-
hannah, etc., to the utmost longitude of Pennsylvania."
This circle sweeps round from the west to the north-east,
and is said to be the only boundary in the world in which
the circle is used.
The king sent out from London two learned astrono-
mers — Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon — to run the
line. They commenced their labors, and in five years
1768. made a report of their progress. Troubles with the In-
dians interfered, and they could not finish the work,
which was completed fifteen years afterward by other
hands. The English surveyors cut openings through the
woods; at the end of every mile they set up a stone, on
one side of which the letter "P" was cut in, and on the
other the letter "M;" and every five miles a stone
brought from England, but instead of the letters were en-
graved the coats-of-arms of the Penns and of Lord Balti-
more. This line is artificial, not a mountain nor a river
is used — it passes over both. No boundary has marked
greater contrasts in society and its advancement than the
famous "Mason and Dixon's line."
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COLONISTS.
Religious Influences among the earlier Settlers. — The later Emi-
grants ; their Influence. — Love of domestic Life. — Laws enjoin-
ing Morality. — Systems of Education; Common Schools. —
John Calvin. — The Southerner; the Northerner. — The Anglo-
Saxon Element; the Norman. — Influences in Pennsylvania; in
New York. — Diversity of Ancestry.
The conquest of Canada had removea apprehensions oi chap.
war with France, or of incursions by the Indians. The L
colonists naturally turned to their own affairs. They were 176 °*
poor and in debt; a seven years' war had been within
their borders ; their men had been drawn from the labor of
industry to the battle-field. Yet that war, with its evils,
had conferred benefits. It had made known to them their
strength, and success had given them confidence.
Before relating the events that led to the Revolution,
let us take a rapid survey of the people, who were soon to
take their place among the nations of the earth
From the first they were an intelligent and a religious
people. They were untrammelled in the exercise of their
religion, and its spirit moulded public sentiment in all
the colonies, whether settled by the Puritan or the
Churchman, by the Dutch Calvinist or the Quaker, by
the Huguenot or the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian. The two
latter were of more recent emigration; they did not di-
minish the high tone of morals already sustained by the
318 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. The Huguenots came in small companies, and seldom
1 settled together in large numbers, but mingled with the
1760. colonists, and conformed more and more to their cus-
toms, and, in time, became identified with them in inter-
ests. Calvinists in doctrine, they generally united with
either the Episcopal or Presbyterian churches, and by
their piety and industrious habits exerted an influence
that amply repaid the genuine hospitality with which
they were everywhere received.
The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians displayed the indomi-
table energy and perseverance of their ancestors, with the
same morality and love of their church. Even those who
took post on the outskirts of civilization along the west-
ern frontiers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and
North Carolina, had their pastor, and trained their chil-
dren in Bible truth, in the catechism, obedience to par-
ents, — a wholesome doctrine practically enforced by all
the colonists, — and reverence for the Sabbath and its sa-
cred duties. They were a people decided in their charac-
ter. They emigrated from their native land to enjoy
civil and religious privileges, but they had also an eye to
the improvement of their temporal affairs.
The endearments of home and of the domestic fireside
had charms for the colonists of every creed. The educa-
tion of their children was deemed a religious duty, while
around their households clustered the comforts and many
of the refinements of the times. The example of their
ancestors, who had sought in the wilderness an asylum,
where they might enjoy their religion, had not been in
vain ; a traditionary religious spirit had come down from
those earlier days, and now pervaded the minds of the
Though there was neither perfect uniformity in their
forms of worship, nor in their interpretation of religious
doctrines, yet one sentiment was sacred in the eyes of all
— a reverence for the day of Holy Rest. The influences
LAWS ENJOINING MORALITY. 319
connected with the Sabbath, and impressed from week to chap.
week, penetrated their inner life, and like an all-pervad-
ing moral antiseptic preserved, in its purity, the religious
character of the entire people.
The laws of a people may be taken as the embodiment
of their sentiments. Those enacted by our forefathers
may excite a smile, yet they show that they were no time-
servers — that they were conscientious and in earnest.
In New England the laws noticed those who dressed
more richly than their wealth would justify; they would
not permit the man who defrauded his creditors to live in
luxury ; those who did not vote, or would not serve when
elected to office, they fined for their want of patriotism;
they forbade "drinkings of healths as a bad habit;" they
prohibited the wearing of embroidered garments and
laces; they discouraged the use of "ribbons and great
boots;" sleeves must reach to the wrist, and not be more
than half an ell wide ; no one under twenty years of age
was allowed to use tobacco, unless prescribed by a physi-
cian; those who used it publicly were fined a sixpence;
all persons were restrained from " swimming in the wa-
ters on the Sabbath-day, or unreasonably walking in the
fields or streets."
In Virginia we see the same spirit. In every settle-
ment there was to be "a house for the worship of God."
Divine service was to be in accordance with the canons of
the Church of England. Absence from church was pun-
ished by a fine; the wardens were sworn to report cases
of " drunkenness, swearing, and other vices." The drunk-
ards were fined, the swearers also, at the rate of " a shil-
ling an oath," slanderers and tale-bearers were pun-
ished; travelling or shooting on the Sabbath forbidden.
The minister was not to addict himself "to excess in
drinking or riot, nor play cards or dice, but to hear or
read the Holy Scriptures, catechize the children, and
visit the sick." The wardens were bound to report the
320 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, masters and mistresses "who neglected to catechize the
- ignorant persons under their charge." In the Carolinas
176 °* laws of a similar character were enacted; and, in Penn-
sylvania, against "stage plays, playing of cards, dice,
May-games, masques, and revels."
Although, at the time of which we write, many of
these, and similar laws had become obsolete, yet the influ-
ences which dictated them had, for one hundred and fifty
years, been forming the character of the colonies. Hedged
in on the one side by the ocean, and on the other by
a howling wilderness filled with hostile savages, they
acquired a certain energy of character, the result of
watchfulness, and an individuality, which to this day dis-
tinguishes their descendants.
While emigrants were flocking to the colonies, these
influences were somewhat disturbed, but for three-quar-
1688. ters of a century — since the great revolution in England
had restrained the hand of oppression — emigration had
been gradually diminishing.
Thus uninfluenced from without, the political and re-
ligious principles with which they were imbued had time
to produce their fruit. A national sentiment, a oneness
of feeling among the people, grew into vigorous being.
The common schools of New England had exerted their
undivided influence for almost three generations; the
youth left them with that conscious self-reliance which
springs spontaneously in the intelligent mind — a pledge
of success in things great as well as small. These schools,
no doubt, gave an impulse to female education. In the
earlier days of New England the women were taught to
read, but very few to write. " The legal papers executed
in the first century (of the colony) by well-to-do women,
were mostly signed by a mark, (X) ".* The custom of
1 Elliott's History of New England, vol. i., p. 428.
EDUCATION — FREE INQUIRY AND CIVIL LIBERTY. 321
settling in townships or villages made it easy to support chap.
common schools. -
In the middle colonies, especially Pennsylvania and 1760,
New York, a system of general education had not been
introduced; the diversity of sects prevented. In the
South, except partially in Maryland, common schools
were not adopted. The owners of slaves usually held
large tracts of the best lands, while the less wealthy were
compelled to retire to the outskirts of the settlements,
where they could obtain farms. The population was
thus so much scattered, that generally children could not
be concentrated at particular places in sufficient numbers
to sustain schools. Those who, for want of means, could
not employ private teachers, taught their own children r
best they could. Among this class, from year to yea
there was but little increase in general intelligence. The
wealthy employed private instructors, or sent their chil-
dren abroad. As the nation increased in knowledge, the
people cherished the right to exercise free thought and
Our ancestors lived not for themselves alone. With
the prophet's vision, and the patriot's hope, they looked
forward to the day, when all this continent would be un-
der the influence of their descendants, and they a Chris-
tian people. Was it strange they were self-denying and
in earnest, in endeavoring to spread the blessings of
education and religion, as the greatest boon they could
transmit to their posterity? Thus they labored to found
institutions of learning; they encouraged the free ex-
pression of opinion. From the religious freedom of con-
science, which they proclaimed as the doctrine of the
Bible, the transition was easy to political freedom. The
advocate of free inquiry became the advocate of civil lib-
erty, and the same stroke which broke the chain binding
the word of God to the interpretation of the church, shat-
tered the fetters binding the political slave.
322 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Much of this sentiment may be traced to the influence
exerted by the opinions of one man, John Calvin. " We
boast of our common schools, Calvin was the father of
popular education, the inventor of free schools. The pil-
grims of Plymouth were Calvinists; the best influence of
South Carolina came from the Calvinists of France. Wil-
liam Penn was the disciple of the Huguenots; the ships
from Holland that first brought colonists to Manhattan
were filled with Calvinists. He that will not honor the
memory and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but
little of the origin of American liberty. He bequeathed
to the world a republican spirit in religion, with the kin-
dred principles of republican liberty/ 7 *
There were slight differences of character between the
people of the several colonies. In the eastern, the diffi-
culties arising from a sterile soil had made the people
industrious and frugal. There, labor was always honor-
able, and when the day came "which tried men's souls/'
great numbers of the prominent men came from the ranks
of manual labor. The Anglo-Saxon element greatly pre-
dominated among the colonists of New England. As
simple in manners as rigid in morals, a truly democratic
spirit and love of liberty pervaded their minds, and hence
political constitutions of whose benefits all were partici-
pants. The Norman element prevailed more in the South,
especially in Virginia. Here the wealthy colonists were
more aristocratic in spirit and feeling; were more refined
and elegant in manners. This aristocratic spirit was fos-
tered, in time, by the system of slavery, while the dis-
tinctions in society arising from the possession of wealth
were greatly increased. In all the southern colonies, the
mildness of the climate, the labor of slaves, and the ready
sale of their tobacco, rice, and indigo, made the acquisi-
tion of wealth comparatively easy. The planter, " having
1 Bancroft's Miscellanies, pp. 405-6
INFLUENCES IN PENNSYLVANIA. 323
more leisure, was more given to pleasures and amuse- chap.
ments — to the sports of the turf, the cock-pit, the chase, -
and the gaming-table. His social habits often made him 17
profuse, and plunged him in debt to the English or Scotch
merchant, who sold his exported products and furnished
him his foreign supplies. He was often improvident, and
sometimes not punctual in his pecuniary engagements." *
The planters were hospitable. Living upon isolated plan-
tations, they were in a measure deprived of social inter-
course; but when opportunity served, they enjoyed it
with a relish. As the Southerner was hospitable, so the
Northerner was charitable. From the hard earnings of
the farmer, of the mechanic, of the merchant, of the
seafaring man, funds were cheerfully given to support
schools, to endow colleges, or to sustain the ordinances
of the gospel. In the South, colleges were principally
endowed by royal grants.
In Pennsylvania was felt the benign influence of the
disciples of George Fox, and its benevolent founder. The
friends of suffering humanity, the enemies of war, the
opponents of classes and ranks in society founded on mere
birth, they recognized merit wherever found. There the
human mind was untrammelled — conscious of a right
derived from a higher authority than conventional law;
there public posts were open to all — no tests intervened
as a barrier. At this time the ardent aspirations of Ben-
jamin Franklin in the pursuit of science received the
sympathy of the people. In Philadelphia he was the
means of founding an academy and free school, which
grew into a university. Here was founded the first medi-
cal college in the colonies, the first public library, and the
first hospital. Here, Bartram, the botanist, founded the
first botanic garden ; and here was formed the American
Philosophical Society. Here lived Godfrey, the inventor
of the quadrant, which bears the name of Hadley.
1 Tucker's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 97.
324 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. In New York, "the key of Canada and the lakes,"
- were blended many elements of character. Here com-
1760. merce began to prevail, and here the arbitrary laws of the
Board of Trade were vigorously opposed, and so often
eluded, that Holland derived more benefit from the trade
than England herself. It cost nearly as much as the
amount of the import duties to maintain the cruisers and
the "Commissioners of Customs." The "Dutch Repub-
licans" had been for nearly a century pupils in the school
where the "rights of Englishmen" were taught; they
profited so much by the instruction, that they paid very
little attention to the king's prerogative, and thought
their own Legislature quite as respectable as the House of
Although the great majority of the Americans were
the descendants of Englishmen, yet there were represent-
atives from Scotland, from Ireland, from Wales, from
France, from Holland, from Germany, from Sweden, and
from Denmark. In religion, there were Churchmen and
Dissenters, Quakers and Catholics. Though they differed
in many minor points, and indulged in those little ani-
mosities which unfortunately too often arise between peo-
ple of different nations and religions, yet they cherished a
sympathy for each other. They were all attached to the
mother country — the South, perhaps, more than the
North; the former had not experienced so severely the
iron hand of royal rule. Some strong external pressure
was required to bind them more closely together, if ever
they were to become an independent nation. That exter-
nal pressure was not long wanting.
CAUSES WHICH LED TO THE REVOLUTION.
Restrictions of Trade and Manufactures. — Taxes imposed by Parlia-
ment. — Writs of Assistance. — James Otis. — Samuel Adams. —
The "Parsons'" Case in Virginia. — Patrick Henry. — A Stamp
Tax threatened. — Colonel Barre's Speech. — The Stamp Act. —
Excitement in the Colonies. — Henry in the House of Burgesses.
— Resolutions not to use Stamps. — "Sons of Liberty." — A Call
for a Congress; it meets, and the Colonial Assemblies approve
its Measures. — Merchants refuse to purchase English Merchan-
dise. — Self-denial of the Colonists. — Pitt defends them. — Frank-
lin at the Bar of the House of Commons. — Stamp Act repealed.
— Rejoicings. — Dartmouth College.
The industrious habits of the colonists were no less wor- <^ p -
thy of notice than their moral traits. The contest with
the mother country had its origin in her attempts to de-
prive them, by means of unjust laws, of the fruits of their
labor. For one hundred years she had been imposing
restrictions on their trade and domestic manufactures.
They were treated as dependents, and inferiors who
occupied " settlements established in distant parts of the
world for the benefit of trade." They could purchase
from England alone, and only to her market could they
send their products. That English merchants might
grow rich at their expense, the products of Europe and
Asia were first to be landed in England, and then re-
shipped to America in British vessels. The only trade
not thus taxed, was that of negroes, they being shipped
directly from Africa — a trade against which all the colo-
nies earnestly, but in vain, protested. Even the trees
326 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, in the forest suitable for masts were claimed by the
king, and marked by his "Surveyor-General of Woods."
" Rolling mills, forges, or tilt-hammers for making iron,"
were prohibited as " nuisances." The House of Commons
said " that the erection of manufactories in the colonies
tended to lessen their dependency upon Great Britain;"
and the English ship-carpenters complained " that their
trade was hurt, and their workmen emigrated, since so
many vessels were built in New England." The hatter,
because he could obtain his fur from the Indians without
sending to England, was not permitted to sell hats out of
his own colony. No manufacturer was permitted to have
more than two apprentices. The government was unwil-
ling that the colonists should make for themselves a sin-
gle article which the English could supply.
These measures aroused a spirit of opposition, more
especially among the frugal and industrious inhabitants
of New England, whose manufactures, fisheries, and trade
were almost ruined. There the people naturally agreed
to buy of British manufacturers only what was absolutely
necessary ; rather than pay the English merchant exorbi-
tant prices, they would deprive themselves of every lux-
ury. Families determined to make their own linens and
woollens, and to abstain from eating mutton, and pre-
serve the sheep to furnish wool. It became fashionable, as
well as honorable, to wear homespun. Associations were
formed to promote domestic manufactures. On the anni-
versary of one of these, more than three hundred young
women met on Boston Common, and devoted the day to
spinning flax. The graduating class of Harvard College,
not to be outdone in patriotism, made it a point on Com-
mencement Day to be clad in homespun. Restrictions on
trade did not affect the interests of the people of the South
so much, as England could not dispense with their tobacco,
rice, and indigo, and they had scarcely any manufactories.
1763. Before the close of the French war, it was intimated
WRITS OF ASSISTANCE. 327
that England intended to tax the colonies, and make chap.
them bear a portion of the burdens brought upon herself -
by the mismanagement of her officials. Many plans were 1763,
discussed and laid aside. Meantime the colonists denied
the right of Parliament to tax them without granting
them, in some form, representation in the government;
they claimed a voice in the disposal of their money. They
looked back upon their history, and were unable to dis-
cover the obligations they owed the king. They loved to
think of Old England as the "home" of their fathers;
they rejoiced in her glories and successes, and never
dreamed of separating from her, until driven to that re-
solve by oppression. Yet visions of greatness, and it may
be of independence, were floating through the minds of
the far-seeing. John Adams, when a youth, had already
written : " It looks likely to me, for if we can remove the
turbulent Gallicks, our people, according to the exactest
computations, will in another century become more nu-
merous than England itself. Should this be the case,
since we have, I may say, all the naval stores of the na-
tion in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of
the seas ; and then the united force of all Europe will not
be able to subdue us." *
A special effort was now made to enforce the naviga-
tion laws, and to prevent the colonists from trading with
other nations. This policy would have converted the en-
tire people into a nation of smugglers and law-breakers,
but for the strong religious influences felt throughout the
To enforce these laws, Parliament gave authority for
using general search warrants, or "Writs of Assistance." 1761.
These Writs authorized any sheriff or officer of the
customs to enter a store or private dwelling, and search
for foreign merchandise, which he suspected had not paid
1 Life and Writings, vol. i., p. 23.
328 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. duty. The quiet of the domestic fireside was no longer
- to be held sacred. These Writs, first used in Massa-
1761, chusetts, caused great excitement and opposition. Their
legality was soon brought to the test in a court of justice.
On this occasion the eloquent James Otis sounded the
note of alarm. He was the Advocate for the Admiralty,
whose duty it was to argue in favor of the Writs ; but he
resigned, in order to plead the cause of the people. The
royalist lawyer contended that the power of Parliament
was supreme, and that good subjects ought to submit to
Fe* u its every enactment. In reply, Otis exclaimed : " To my
dying day, I will oppose, with all the power and faculties
God has given me, all such instruments of slavery, on the
one hand, and villany on the other/' His stirring elo-
quence gave an impulse to public opinion, which aroused
opposition to other acts of Parliament. "Then and
there," says John Adams, "was the first opposition to
arbitrary acts of Great Britain. Then and there Ameri-
can Independence was born." The writs were scarcely
ever enforced after this trial.
Of the leading men of the times, none had greater in-
fluence than Samuel Adams — in his private life, the
devout Christian; in his public life, the incorruptible
patriot. In him the spirit of the old Puritans seemed to
linger: mild in manners, living from choice in retire-
ment, incapable of an emotion of fear, when duty called
him to a post of danger. Learned in constitutional law,
he never went beyond its limits. Through his influence
Boston expressed her opinions, saying, " We claim Brit-
ish rights, not by charter only — we are born to them. If
we are taxed without our consent, our property is taken
without our consent, and then we are no more freemen,
but slaves." And she invited all the colonies to join in
obtaining redress. The same note of alarm was sounded
in Virginia, in New York, in Connecticut, and in the
Carolinas. Thinking minds saw in the future the coming
THE KING'S PREROGATIVE — PATRICK HENRY. 329
contest; that the English ministry would persist in their chap.
unjust treatment, until, in self-defence, they had driven '-
the whole American people to open rebellion. "They 1761,
wish to make us dependent, but they will make us inde-
pendent; these oppressions will lead us to unite and thus
secure our liberty." Thus wrote Richard Henry Lee, of
Virginia. "Oh! poor New England/' exclaimed the elo-
quent George Whitefield, "there is a deep-laid plot
against your liberties; your golden days are ended."
The first collision in Virginia between the prerogative 1763.
of the king and the authority of the legislature occurred ec
in a county court. Tobacco was the legalized currency
of the colony. Occasionally, untoward events, such as
war, or failure of the crop, made payments in tobacco
very burdensome. The legislature passed a law, author-
izing debtors to pay their public dues in money, at the
rate of twopence a pound for the tobacco due. The cler-
gymen of the established church refused to acquiesce in
the law; they had a fixed salary of a certain number of
pounds of tobacco a year. At their instance, Sherlock,
the Bishop of London, used his influence and persuaded
the king to refuse his signature to this law. " The rights
of the clergy and the authority of the king must stand or
fall together," said the Bishop. The law was therefore
null and void.
To test it, a clergyman named Maury brought a suit
to recover damages, or the difference" between twopence
per pound and the higher price for which tobacco was
selling. It became the cause of the people on the one
side, and the cause of the clergy and of the king's pre-
rogative on the other. The people engaged a young man
of twenty-seven to plead against the "parsons."
That young man was Patrick Henry. He belonged
not to the aristocracy, and was obscure and unknown.
On this occasion, that rare and wonderful gift of elo-
quence, which has made us so familiar with his name,
330 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, was first displayed. He possessed a charm of voice and
tone that fascinated his hearers; a grasp of thought, a
vividness of conception, and withal a power that allured
into sympathy with his own sentiments the emotions of
his audience. For this he was indebted to nature, not to
education; for, when a boy, he broke away from the re-
straints of school and the drudgery of book-learning, to
lounge idly by some solitary brookside with hook and
line, or in more active moods to dash away into the woods
to enjoy the excitements of the chase. He learned a
little of Latin, of Greek not more than the letters, and as
little of mathematics. At eighteen he married, engaged
in trade, and failed; tried farming with as little success;
then read law six weeks, and was admitted to the bar.
Yet the mind of this young man had not been idle; he
lived in a world of deep thought; he studied men. He
was now to appear for the first time as an advocate.
The whole colony was interested in the trial, and the
court-room was crowded with anxious spectators. Maury
made objections to the jury; he thought them of "the
vulgar herd," "dissenters/' and "New Lights." "They
are honest men," rejoined Henry. The court overruled
the insulting objections, and the jury were sworn.
The case was plainly against him, but Henry con-
tended the law was valid, and enacted by competent au-
thority; he fell back upon the natural right of Virginia
to make her own laws, independently of the king and
parliament. He proved the justness of the law; he
sketched the character of a good king, as the father of his
people, but who, when he annuls good laws becomes a
tyrant, and forfeits all right to obedience. At this doc-
trine, so new, so daring, the audience seemed to stand
aghast. " He has spoken treason," exclaimed the oppos-
ing counsel. A few joined in the cry of Treason! treason !
Yet the jury brought in a verdict for the "parsons" of a
THE STAMP ACT. 331
Henry denied the right of the king to aid in making chap.
laws for the colonies. His argument applied not only to -
Virginia, but to the continent. The sentiment spread
from colony to colony.
Parliament assumed the right to tax the Americans,
and paid no attention to their protests, but characterized
them as "absurd," "insolent," "mad." When they ex-
postulated with Grenville, the Prime Minister, he warned
them that in a contest with England they would gain
nothing. The taxes must be levied at all events; and
he graciously asked if there was any form in which they
would rather pay them than by means of the threatened
stamps. These were to be affixed to all documents used
in trade, and for them a certain impost duty was charged.
Only the English merchants whose interests were involved
in the American trade, appear to have sympathized with
the colonists. Franklin, who was then in London as agent
for the Assembly of Pennsylvania, wrote home : " Every
man in England regards himself as a piece of a sovereign
over America, seems to jostle himself into the throne with
the king, and talks of our subjects in the colonies."
The Stamp Act did not pass without a struggle. Dur- 1765
ing these discussions, Colonel Barre, who, in the war
against the French, was the friend and companion of
Wolfe, charged the members of the House of Commons
with being ignorant of the true state of the colonies-
When Charles Townshencl, the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer, asked the question, "Will our American chil-
dren, planted by our care, nourished by our indulgence,
and protected by our arms, grudge to contribute their
mite to relieve us from our burdens? " Barre indignantly
replied: "They planted by your care! No, your oppres-
sions planted them in America. They fled from your
tyranny to an uncultivated, inhospitable country; where
they exposed themselves to almost every hardship, and to
the cruelties of the savage foe. They nourished by your in-
332 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, diligence! They grew by your neglect; your care for them
xxv ' was to send persons to rule them; deputies of deputies, to
1765. some members of this house, sent to spy out their liberties,
to misrepresent their actions, and to prey upon them ; men
who have caused the blood of those sons of liberty to re-
coil within them. They protected by your arms! They
have nobly taken up arms in your defence. Amidst their
constant and laborious industry they have defended a
country whose frontiers were drenched in blood, while its
interior settlements yielded all their little savings to your
emoluments. I speak the genuine sentiments of my heart.
They are a people as truly loyal as any subjects of the
king; they are jealous of their liberties, and will vindicate
them, if ever they should be violated."
But very few of the members of the house were thus
liberal in their sentiments. The great majority looked
upon the colonies as subservient to the rule of the
mother country. It was the express intention of the
ministry "to be very tender in taxing them, beginning
with small duties and taxes," and advancing as they
found them willing to bear it.
The House of Commons, on March 22d, passed the
Stamp Act by a majority of nine to one; ten days after-
ward it passed the House of Lords almost unanimously.
The king was ill; mystery whispered of some unusual
disease. When George III. signed the Stamp Act, he
was not a responsible being — he was insane.
This act declared that every written agreement be-
tween persons in trade, to be valid, must have affixed to
it one of these stamps. Their price was in proportion to
the importance of the writing ; the lowest a shilling, and
thence increasing indefinitely. Truly this "was to take
money without an equivalent." All business must be
thus taxed, or suspended.
In order to enforce this act, Parliament, two months
afterward, authorized the ministry to send as many
RESOLUTIONS OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY. 333
troops as they saw proper to America. For these soldiers chap.
the colonies were required to find "quarters, fuel, cider
or rum, candles, and other necessaries."
The news of the passage of these arbitrary laws threw
the people into a ferment. They became acquainted with
each other's views ; the subject was discussed in the news-
papers, was noticed in the pulpits, and became the en-
grossing topic of conversation in social intercourse. In the
Virginia Assembly, Patrick Henry introduced resolutions
declaring that the people of Virginia were only bound to
pay taxes imposed by their own Legislature, and any
person who maintained the contrary should be deemed
an enemy of the colony. An exciting debate followed, in
which the wonderful power of Henry in describing the
tyranny of the British government swayed the majority
of the members. In the midst of one of his bursts of elo-
quence he exclaimed : " Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I.
his Cromwell, and George III." — "Treason! treason!" May.
shouted the Speaker, and a few others joined him in the
cry. Henry fixed his eye upon the Speaker, and in the
tone and emphasis peculiar to himself, continued, " may
profit by their example. If that be treason, make the most
of it." The resolutions passed, but the next morning,
in Henry's absence, the timid in the Assembly rescinded
the last, and modified the others. The governor immedi-
ately dissolved the house for this free expression of opin-
ion. Meantime, a manuscript copy of the resolutions
was on its way to Philadelphia, where they were speedily
printed and sent throughout the country. They raised
the drooping spirits of the people, who determined to
neutralize the law — they would never use the stamps.
The Legislature of Massachusetts resolved that the
courts should conduct their business without their use.
Colden, the royalist governor of New York, thought
"that the presence of a battalion would prevent mis-
chief:" but the council suggested, "it would be more
334 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, safe for the government to show a confidence in the peo-
pie." "I will cram the stamps down their throats with
my sword," said an officer. The churchmen preached
obedience to the king — the "Lord's anointed." William
Livingston answered, " The people are the ' Lord's anoint-
ed,' though named 'mob and rabble' — the people are the
darling of Providence."
Colonel Barre, in his famous speech, characterized
those in America who opposed British oppression, as
" Sons of Liberty." He read them rightly; Sons of Lib-
erty they were, and destined to be free ; they felt it ; they
adopted the name, it became the watchword under
which they rallied. Associations called by this name
sprang up as if by magic, and in a few weeks spread from
Massachusetts to Maryland. They would neither use
stamps nor permit the distributers to remain in office.
One morning the famous Liberty Tree in Boston was
found decorated with the effigies of some of the friends of
the English ministry. The mob compelled Oliver, the
secretary of the colony, who had been appointed stamp
distributer, to resign, and promise that he would not aid
Aug. in their distribution. They also attacked the houses of
some of the other officials. The patriots protested against
these lawless proceedings. Five hundred Connecticut
farmers came into Wethersfield and compelled Jared
Ingersol, the stamp officer for that colony, to resign, and
then take off his hat and give three cheers for " Liberty,
Property, and no stamps." Such was the feeling, and
Nov. such was the result, that when the day came, on which the
1# law was to go into effect, not one stamp officer could be
found — all had resigned.
June. The General Court of Massachusetts issued a circular
in June, inviting all the colonies to send delegates to a
convention or Congress, to be held at New York, on the
first Tuesday of the following October. Accordingly, on
THE CONGRESS IN SESSION. 335
the day named delegates from nine of the colonies met at chap.
the place appointed. -
The idea of a union of the colonies dates as far back 1765,
as the days of William Penn, who was the first to suggest
it; but now the question was discussed by the various
committees of correspondence. At a convention which
met at Albany eleven years before this, Benjamin Frank- 1754.
lin had proposed a plan of union. This was adopted and
laid before the Assemblies of the colonies, and the Board
of Trade, for ratification. It met with a singular fate.
The Assemblies rejected it, because it was too aristocratic,
and the Board of Trade because it was too democratic.
The Congress met and spent three weeks in delibera- Oct.
tion. They drew up a Declaration of Rights, a Memorial
to both Houses of Parliament, and a Petition to the king.
They claimed the right of being taxed only by their own
representatives, premising, that because of the distance,
and for other reasons, they could not be represented in
the House of Commons, but in their own Assemblies.
These documents were signed by nearly all the delegates,
and transmitted to England. The colonial Assemblies,
at their earliest days of meeting, gave to these proceed-
ings of the Congress their cordial approval. Thus the
Union was consummated, by which the colonies "be-
came as a bundle of sticks which could neither be bent
nor broken." While the Congress was in session, a ship
with stamps on board, made its appearance in the bay.
Placards were posted throughout the city, threatening
those who should attempt to use them. " I am resolved
to have the stamps distributed," said Colden, the gov-
ernor. " Let us see who will dare to put the act into exe-
cution," said the Sons of Liberty.
On the last day of October all the royal governors,
except the governor of Rhode Island, took the oath to
carry into execution the Stamp Act. On the next day the
law was to go into effect. But not a stamp was to be
336 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, seen; instead, in every colony the bells were tolled, and
'- the flags lowered to half-mast — indications that the pas-
1765# sage of this act was regarded as " the funeral of liberty."
The merchants of New York, Boston, and Philadel-
phia, agreed to send no orders to England for merchan-
dise, to countermand those already sent, and to receive
no goods on commission till the act was repealed. They
were sustained by the people, who pledged themselves
not to use the products of English manufacturers, but to
encourage their own. Circulars were sent throughout the
land inviting to harmonious action ; these were responded
to with a hearty good-will. Luxuries were dispensed with,
and homespun was more honorable than ever.
The infatuated ministry, in view of this opposition,
resolved to modify, not to repeal the law. It would de-
tract from their dignity, to comply with the request of
the colonists. " Sooner/' said one of them, " than make
our colonies our allies, I would wish to see them returned
to their primitive deserts/'
1766. Infirm health had compelled Pitt to retire from active
life. "My resolution is taken," said he, "and if I can
crawl or be carried to London, I will deliver my mind and
heart upon the state of America." When accused by
Grenville of exciting sedition, "Sir," said he in reply,
"I have been charged with giving birth to sedition in
America. Sorry I am to have the liberty of speech in
this house imputed as a crime. But the imputation will
not deter me; it is a liberty I mean to exercise. The
gentleman tells us that America is obstinate; that Amer-
ica is almost in rebellion. I rejoice that America has re-
sisted." The sentiment startled the house; he continued:
" If they had submitted, they would have voluntarily be-
come slaves. They have been driven to madness by injus-
tice. My opinion is, that the Stamp Act should be re-
pealed, absolutely, totally, immediately." The celebrated
THE STAMP ACT REPEALED — REJOICINGS. 337
Edmund Burke, then a young man rising into notice, ad- chap.
vocated the repeal with great eloquence.
The House of Commons wished to inquire still further
of the temper of the Americans before taking the vote.
They accordingly called witnesses to their bar, among
whom was Benjamin Franklin. His knowledge was the
most perfect, and his testimony had the greatest effect
upon their minds. He said the colonists could not pay
for the stamps for want of gold and silver; that they had
borne more than their share of expense in the last war,
and that they were laboring under debts contracted by it;
that they would soon supply themselves with domestic
manufactures; that they had been well disposed toward
the mother country, but recent laws were lessening their
affection, and soon all commerce would be broken up, un-
less those laws were repealed ; and finally, that they never
would submit to taxes imposed by those who had no au-
thority. The vote was taken, and the Stamp Act was Mar.,
repealed; not because it was unjust, but because it could
not be enforced. The people of the English commercial
cities manifested their joy ; bonfires were lighted, the ships
displayed their gayest colors, and the city of London it-
self was illuminated. Expresses were sent to the seaports,
that the news might reach America as soon as possible.
The rejoicings in the colonies were equally as great.
In Boston, the bell nearest to the Liberty Tree was the
first to ring ; soon gay flags and banners were flying from
the shipping, from private dwellings, and from the steeples
of the meeting-houses. Amidst the joy, the unfortunate
were not forgotten, and those immured in the debtor's
prison, were released by the contributions of their friends.
The ministers, from their pulpits, offered thanksgiving in
the name of the whole people, and the associations against
importing merchandise from England were dissolved.
New York, Virginia, and Maryland, each voted a statue
to Pitt, who became more than ever a popular idol.
338 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. In the midst of these troubles the cause of education
- and religion was not forgotten. The Rev. Eleazar Whee-
1766, lock established at Lebanon, in Connecticut, a school to
educate Indian boys, and train them as teachers for their
own race. Success attended the effort. A grant of forty-
four thousand acres of land induced him to remove the
school to Hanover, New Hampshire. Under the name of
Dartmouth, a charter as a college was granted it, by
1769. Wentworth, the governor. The Earl of Dartmouth, a
Methodist, a friend of John Wesley, aided it, was one of
its trustees, and took charge of the funds contributed for
it in England — hence the name.
The establishment of this institution was one of the
effects of the Great Revival. In the midst of the native
forest of pines the work was commenced. The principal
and his students dwelt in log-cabins, built by their own
CAUSES WHICH LED TO THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
The English Ministry determine to obtain a Revenue. — Massachu-
setts invites to harmonious Action. — The Romney and the
Sloop Liberty. — A British Regiment at Boston. — Collision with
the Citizens. — Articles of Association proposed by Washington.
— The Tax upon Tea. — Whigs and Tories. — The Gaspe" cap-
tured. — The King's Maxim. — The Resolutions not to receive the
Tea. — Tea thrown into Boston Harbor. — Its Reception at other
Places. — More oppressive Laws passed by Parliament. — Aid
sent to Boston. — Gage's Difficulties. — Alexander Hamilton. —
The Old Continental Congress. — The Organization; the first
Prayer. — The "Declaration of Rights." — -The " American Asso-
ciation." — The Papers issued by the Congress. — The Views of
Pitt in relation to them.
Lord Grenville, the head of the ministry, was dis- chap.
missed, and the Marquis of Rockingham took his place.
This ministry soon gave way, and another was appointed
by the king, as the head of which was placed Pitt, who,
in the mean time, had been created Earl of Chatham.
The following year, during Pitt's absence, Charles
Townshend, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced
that he intended, at all risks, to derive a revenue from 1767.
America, by imposing a duty upon certain articles, which
the colonists received from abroad, such as wine, oil,
paints, glass, paper, and lead colors, and especially upon
tea, as they obtained it cheaper from Dutch smugglers
than the English themselves. It was suggested to him
So withdraw the army, and there would be no need of a
340 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
ohap. tax. "I will hear nothing; on the subject" said he; "it
is absolutely necessary to keep an army there."
1767. j ne co ionists were startled by this news. They now
remembered the fatal reservation in the repeal of the
Stamp Act, that Parliament had the absolute right to tax
them. "We will form a universal combination to eat
nothing, to drink nothing, and wear nothing, imported
from England," passed as a watchword from one colony
to another, and very soon the non-importation associa-
tions were again in vigor. " Courage, Americans; lib-
erty, religion, and science are on the wing to these shores.
The finger of God points out a mighty empire to your
sons," said one of the lawyers of New York. " Send over
an army and fleet, and reduce the dogs to reason," wrote
one of the royal governors to the ministry.
Suddenly the Romney, a man-of-war, appeared in the
harbor of Boston. The question soon arose, Why is a ves-
sel of war sent to our harbor? The people had resisted no
law; they had only respectfully petitioned for redress,
and resolved to dispense with the use of British goods,
Since the arrival of the Romney, the haughty manner
of the Commissioners of Customs toward the people had
become intolerable. The Romney frequently impressed
the New England seamen as they came into the harbor.
One man thus impressed was forcibly rescued by his com-
panions. These and similar outrages excited the bitterest
animosity between the royal officials and the people.
The Massachusetts Assembly issued a circular to the
other Colonial Assemblies, inviting to harmonious action
in obtaining redress. A few months afterward the minis-
1768. try sent peremptory orders to the Assembly to rescind
June, their circular. Through the influence of Otis and Samuel
Adams, the Assembly refused to comply with the arbi-
trary demand, but instead intimated that Parliament
ought to repeal their offensive laws. Meantime the other
Colonial Assemblies received the circular favorably, and
^Ps rvcel (fi w/rt^om^
A BEITISH REGIMENT STATIONED IN BOSTON. 341
also encouraged Massachusetts in her resistance to ty- chap.
ranny and injustice.
At this crisis, under the pretence that she had made 1768,
a false entry, the sloop Liberty, belonging to John Han-
cock, one of the prominent leaders, was seized, and towed
under the guns of the Romney. She was laden with Ma-
deira wine, on which duties were demanded. The news
soon spread, and a crowd collected, the more violent of
whom attacked the houses of the Commissioners of Cus-
toms, who were forced to fly for safety to Castle William
in the harbor. Of these outbreaks of a few ignorant per-
sons, the most exaggerated accounts were sent to Eng-
land, and there it was resolved to send more soldiers, and
make Massachusetts submit as a conquered country.
Vengeance was to be especially taken on "the insolent
town of Boston." As the Parliament had determined to
send troops to the colonies, Bernard, the governor, re-
quested Colonel Gage to bring a regiment from Halifax
to Boston. On a quiet Sabbath, these troops were landed g ep t.
under the cover of the guns of their vessels, their colors
flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed, as if they had
taken possession of an enemy's town. Neither the lead-
ers of the people, nor the people themselves, were intimi-
dated by this military demonstration. According to law,
troops could be lodged in Boston, only when the barracks
at the forts in the harbor were full. The Assembly refused
the soldiers quarters, and the food and other necessaries
which had been demanded. The royalists gravely thought
the Bostonians "had come within a hair's-breadth of
committing treason." Gage wrote, "It is of no use to
argue in this country, where every man studies law."
He would enforce obedience without delay.
Boston was held as a conquered town ; sentinels were
placed at the corners of the streets, and citizens, when
passing to their ordinary business, were challenged ; even
the sacred hours of the Sabbath were not free from the
342 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, din of drums. A collision finally took place, between a
XXVI. . .
- citizen and a soldier. This led to an affray between the
M 7 rch s °ldiers an d some rope-makers. A few evenings after-
2. ward a sentinel was assaulted; soldiers were sent to his
aid, and they were stoned by the mob. At length a sol-
dier fired upon their assailants; immediately six of his
companions fired also. Three persons were killed and five
wounded. The town was thrown into a state of great ex-
citement; in an hour's time the alarm bells had brought
thousands into the streets. The multitude was pacified,
only for the time, by the assurance of Hutchinson, who
was now governor, that in the morning justice should be
done. The next morning the people demanded that the
troops should be removed from the town to Castle Wil-
liam; and that Captain Preston, who, it was said, had
commanded his soldiers to fire, should be tried for mur-
der. Both these requisitions were complied with. Cap-
tain Preston and six of his men were arraigned for trial.
John Adams and Josiah Quincy, both popular leaders,
volunteered to defend them. They were acquitted by
the jury of murder, but two of the soldiers were found
guilty of manslaughter.
The result of this trial had a good effect in England.
Contrary to the slanders of their enemies, it showed that
the Bostonians, in the midst of popular excitement, were
actuated by principles of justice. Those citizens who had
been thus killed were regarded in the colonies as martyrs
The Virginia Assembly passed resolutions as " bad as
those of Massachusetts." The next day, the governor,
Lord Boutetourte, dissolved the house for passing " the
1769. abominable resolves." The members immediately held a
M »y- meeting, at which Washington presented the resolutions,
drawn up by himself and his friend George Mason. They'
were a draft of articles of association, not to import from
Great Britain merchandise that was taxed. "Such was
THE KING INSISTS ON TAXING TEA. 343
their zeal against the slave-trade, they made a special chap.
eovenant with one another not to import any slaves, nor 1
purchase any imported." To these resolutions were 1769,
signed the names of Patrick Henry, Washington, Jeffer-
son, Richard Henry Lee, and, indeed, of all the members
of the Assembly. Then they were sent throughout the
colony for the signature of every man in it.
The non-importation associations produced their 1770.
effect, and Lord North, who was now prime minister,
proposed to remove all the duties except that on tea.
That was retained at the express command of the king,
whose maxim was, " that there should be always one tax,
at least, to keep up the right of taxing." This removed
part of the difficulty, for which the colonists were thank-
ful ; but they were still united in their determination not
to import tea. For these concessions they were indebted
to the clamors of those English merchants whose trade
had been injured. For a year there was an apparent lull
in the storm of popular feeling.
Governor Hutchinson issued a proclamation for a day
of thanksgiving; this he required the ministers to read
from their pulpits on the following Sabbath. He thought
to entrap them, by inserting a clause acknowledging grat-
itude, " that civil and religious liberty were continued/ '
and " trade encouraged." But he sadly mistook the men.
The ministers, with the exception of one, whose church
the governor himself attended, refused to read the proc-
lamation, but, on the contrary, agreed to " implore of Al-
mighty God the restoration of lost liberties."
The contest had continued so long that party lines
began to be drawn. Those who favored the demands of
the people, were called Whigs; those who sympathized
with the government, were called Tories. These terms
had been long in use in England, the former to designate
the opposers of royalty; the latter its supporters.
Scarcely a colony was exempt from outrages commit-
344 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, ted by those representing the royal authority. In New
York the people, on what is now the Park, then known as
the Fields, erected a liberty-pole. They were accustomed
to assemble there and discuss the affairs of the colony.
On a certain night, a party of the soldiers stationed in
the fort cut down the pole. The people retaliated, and
Jan. frequent quarrels and collisions occurred. Though these
disturbances were not so violent as those in Massachu-
setts, they had the effect of exciting in the people intense
hatred of the soldiers, as the tools of tyranny.
An armed vessel, the Gaspe, engaged in the revenue
service, took her position in Narraganset Bay, and in an
insulting and arbitrary manner enforced the customs.
Sometimes she wantonly compelled the passing vessels
and market boats to lower their colors as a token of re-
spect; sometimes landed companies on the neighboring
islands, and carried off hogs and sheep, and other provi-
sions. The lieutenant in command was appealed to for his
authority in thus acting. He referred the committee to
the admiral, stationed at Boston. The admiral haughtily
answered: "The lieutenant is fulfilling his duty; if any
persons rescue a vessel from him, I will hang them as
pirates." The bold sailors and citizens matured their
1772. plans and executed them. The Providence packet, of a
io 16 n & n t draught and a fast sailer, was passing up the bay.
The Gaspe hailed. The packet paid no attention, but
passed on. Immediately the Gaspe gave chase. The
packet designedly ran into shoal water near the shore;
the Gaspe followed, and was soon aground, — the tide go-
ing out, left her fast. The following night a company of
men went down in boats, boarded her, made prisoners
of the crew, and burned the vessel. A large reward was
offered for the perpetrators of this bold act ; though well
known, not one was betrayed.
The warehouses of the East India Company were filled
with the "pernicious weed," and the company proposed
A TAX IMPOSED ON TEA. 345
to pay all its duties in England, and then export it at
their own risk. This would remove the difficulty, as there
would then be no collections of the duty in American 1772
ports. But the king was unwilling to sacrifice his maxim,
and Lord North seems to have been incapable of compre-
hending, that the Americans refused to pay the duty on
tea, not because it was great or small, but because they
looked upon a tax thus imposed as unjust. He therefore
virtually proposed to the company to pay three-fourths of
the duty in England; to save the king's maxim, the gov-
ernment would collect the other fourth, or three pence on
a pound, in America. It was suggested to North, that
the Americans would not purchase the tea on those con-
ditions. He replied: "It is to no purpose the making
objections, for the king will have it so. The king means
to try the question with the Americans." 1773
Meantime public opinion in the colonies was becoming
more and more enlightened, and more and more decided.
"We must have a convention of all the colonies," said
Samuel Adams. And he sent forth circulars inviting
them to assert their rights, when there was a prospect of
success. He saw clearly that the king and Parliament
were resolved to see whether the Americans would or
would not acknowledge their supremacy.
When the conditions became known on which tea was
to be imported, the people took measures to prevent its
being either landed or sold. In Philadelphia they held a
meeting, and requested those to whom the tea was con-
signed "to resign their appointments." They also de-
nounced "as an enemy to his country," "whosoever shall
aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or vending the tea."
Similar meetings were held in Charleston and New York,
and similar resolutions were passed.
A ship, making a quick passage, arrived at Boston,
with intelligence that several vessels laden with tea had
sailed. Five thousand men immediately assembled to de-
346 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, liberate on the course to be pursued. On motion of
Samuel Adams, they unanimously resolved to send the
Nov tea back. "The only way to get rid of it," shouted
3. some one in the crowd, " is to throw it overboard." Those
to whom the tea had been consigned were invited to meet
at Liberty Tree, and resign their appointments. Two of
the consignees were sons of Governor Hutchinson, who, at
that time, was peculiarly odious on account of his double-
dealing. This had been brought to light by a number
of his letters to persons in England. These letters had
fallen into the hands of Dr. Franklin, who sent them to
the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly. They dis-
closed the fact, that nearly all the harsh measures directed
against the colony, had been suggested by Hutchinson.
According to law, a ship must unload within twenty
days, or be seized for non-payment of duties.
Presently a ship laden with tea came into the harbor.
By order of the committee, it was moored at a certain
wharf, and a company of twenty-five men volunteered to
guard it. The owner promised to take the cargo back, if
the governor would give his permit. Meantime came two
other vessels ; they were ordered to anchor beside the first.
The committee waited again upon the consignees, but
their answer was unsatisfactory. When the committee
made their report to the meeting, not a word was said;
the assemblage silently broke up. The consignees were
Nov. terribly alarmed. That silence was ominous. Hutchin-
30 * son's two sons fled to the fort, to the protection of the
regulars. The father went quietly out of town. His ob-
ject was to gain time till the twenty days should ex-
pire; then the ships would pass into the hands of the
Commissioners of Customs, and the tea would be safe for
Another meeting of the people was protracted till after
dark; on the morrow the twentieth day would expire,
and the tea would be placed beyond their reach. At
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEA. 347
length the owner of the vessel returned from his mission chap.
to the governor, and reported that he would not give the -
permit for the ships to leave the port. " This meeting," 1773 *
announced Samuel Adams, " can do nothing more to save
Immediately a shout, somewhat like a war-whoop,
arose from a band of forty or fifty " very dark complex-
ioned men, dressed like Mohawks," who were around the
door. This band moved hastily down to the wharf where
lay the tea ships. Placing a guar J to protect them from Dec.
spies, they went on board and took out three hundred and 18,
forty-two chests, broke them open, and poured the tea
into the water. In silence the crowd on shore witnessed
the affair; when the work was accomplished, they quietly
retired to their homes. Paul Revere set out immediately
to carry the news to New York and Philadelphia.
At New York, a tea ship was sent back with her Dec
cargo; the captain was escorted out of the city by the 25,
Committee of Vigilance, with banners flying and a band
playing God save the king. Eighteen chests of tea, found
concealed on board another vessel, were thrown into the
dock. In Charleston tea was permitted to be landed,
but was stowed in damp cellars, where it spoiled. The
captain of the vessel bound for Philadelphia, when four
miles below the city, learned that the citizens would not
permit him to land his cargo ; he prudently returned to
England. At Annapolis, a ship and its cargo were both
burned ; the owner, to allay the excitement, himself ap-
plying the torch.
Meantime the various committees of correspondence
were making preparations to hold a congress composed
of representatives from all the colonies. Yet they said,
and no doubt honestly, that "their old good-will and
affection for the parent country were not totally lost."
" If she returned to her former moderation and good hu-
mor, their affection would revive."
348 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. When it became known in England that the auda-
XXVI. . . .
— - — - cious colonists would not even permit the tea to be landed,
1774, the king and ministry determined to make their power
felt; and especially to make an example of Boston. Ac-
cordingly a bill was introduced and passed in Parliament,
four to one, to close her port to all commerce, and to
transfer the seat of government to Salem. Though her
June, citizens offered remuneration for the tea destroyed, yet
Massachusetts must be punished; made an example, to
deter other outbreaks Parliament immediately passed a
series of laws which violated her charter and took away
her privileges. The Port Bill, it was complacently proph-
esied, will make Boston submit; she will yet come as a
penitent, and promise obedience to British laws.
Parliament went still further, and passed other laws ;
one for quartering soldiers, at the people's expense, on all
the colonies, and another in connection with it, by which
officers, who, in enforcing this particular law, should com-
mit acts of violence, were to be taken to England, and
tried there for the offence. This clause would encourage
arbitrary acts, and render military and official insolence
still more intolerable, To these was added another law,
known as the Quebec act ; it granted unusual concessions
to the Catholics of Canada — a stroke of policy, if war
should occur between the colonies and the mother coun-
try. This act revived much of the old Protestant feeling
latent in the minds of the people. These laws, opposed
by many in Parliament as unnecessary and tyrannical, ex-
cited in America a deep feeling of indignation against the
Everywhere Boston met with sympathy. The town of
Salem refused to accept the proffered boon of becoming
the seat of government at the expense of her neighbor,
and Marblehead offered her port, free of charge, to the
merchants of Boston. In that city great distress was
experienced; multitudes, who depended upon the daily
BOSTON MEETS WITH SYMPATHY. 349
labor they obtained from commerce, were out of employ- chap.
merit, and their families suffered. The different colonies -
sent to their aid provisions and money ; these were accom- 1774,
panied by words of encouragement, to stand firm in the
righteous cause. The ordinary necessaries of life came
from their neighbors of New England. "The patriotic
and generous people" of South Carolina sent them two
hundred barrels of rice, and promised eight hundred more,
but urged them "not to pay for an ounce of the tea."
In North Carolina " two thousand pounds were raised by
subscription" and sent. Virginia and Maryland vied
with each other in the good work. Washington presided
at a meeting of sympathizers, and subscribed himself fifty
pounds ; and even the farmers on the western frontiers of
the Old Dominion sent one hundred and thirty-seven bar-
rels of flour.
These patriots were determined "that the men of
Boston, who were deprived of their daily labor, should not
lose their daily bread, nor be compelled to change their
residence for want." *
Even the citizens of Quebec, French and English, by
joint effort sent them more than a thousand bushels of
wheat, while in London itself one hundred and fifty thou-
sand dollars were subscribed for their benefit. Notwith-
standing all this distress no riot or outbreak occurred
among the people.
General Gage was now Commander-in-chief of the
British army in America, and had been recently appointed
governor, in place of Hutchinson. He was sadly at a loss
how to manage the Bostonians. If they would only vio-
late the law, he could exercise his civil as well as his mili-
tary authority. They held meetings, from time to time,
and freely discussed their public affairs. They were under
1 Bancroft, vol. vii. ; p. 75.
350 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, the control of leaders who never lost their self-possession,
- nor transcended their constitutional rights. The govern-
1774 ' ment, thinking to avoid the evil, forbade them to hold
such meetings, after a certain day. They evaded the law
tl by convoking the meetings before that day, and keeping
them alive." "Faneuil Hall was at times unable to hold
them, and they swarmed from that revolutionary hive
into Old South Church. The Liberty Tree became a rally-
ing place for any popular movement, and a flag hoisted on
it was saluted by all processions as the emblem of the pop-
ular cause." *
During this time, the people throughout the colonies
held conventions and chose delegates to the General Con-
gress about to meet at Philadelphia. One of these meet-
ings, held in the " Fields" in New York, was addressed
by a youth of seventeen. The stripling charmed his hear-
ers by his fervor, as he grappled with the question and
presented with clearness the main points at issue. When
he closed, a whisper ran through the crowd, " It is a col-
legian." The youth was Alexander Hamilton, a native
of St. Kitts, of Scotch and French descent, his mother a
Huguenot. The son combined the caution of the Scot
with the vivacity of the Gaul. At an early age he lost
his mother, whose memory he cherished with the greatest
devotion. "A father's care he seems never to have
known." At the age of twelve he was thrown upon the
world to depend upon his own resources. He came to
Boston, and thence to New York, where he found means
to enter King's, since Columbia College. He had been
known to the people simply as the West Indian, who
walked under the trees in the college green, and uncon-
scious of the observation of others, talked to himself.
Henceforth a brilliant mind and untiring energies were to
be consecrated to the welfare of the land that had adopted
1 Washington Irving.
THE OLD CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. 351
When the time came for the meeting of the General chap.
Congress, known as the Old Continental Congress, fifty- 1
five delegates assembled in the Carpenters' Hall, in the i 77 !'
city of Philadelphia. Every colony was represented, ex- 5.
cept Georgia. Martin, the royalist governor, had pre-
vented delegates from being chosen.
Here for the first time assembled the most eminent
men of the colonies. They held in their hands, under the
Great Disposer of all things, the destinies of a people num-
bering nearly three millions. Here were names now sacred
in the memories of Americans. George Washington,
Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Edward and John
Rutledge, Gadsden, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Roger
Sherman, Philip Livingston, John Jay, William Living-
ston, Dr. Witherspoon, President of Princeton College, a
Scotch Presbyterian minister, who had come over some
years before, but was said to be " as high a son of liberty
as any man in America," and others of lesser note, but
no less patriotism. They had corresponded with each
other, and exchanged views on the subject of their coun-
try's wrongs; they had sympathized as brethren, though
many of them were to each other personally unknown. It
was a momentous crisis, and they felt the responsibility
of their position.
The House was organized by electing the aged Peyton
Randolph, of Virginia, Speaker, and Charles Thomson, of
Pennsylvania, Secretary. A native of Ireland, when a
youth he came to America. He was principal of the
Quaker High School in Philadelphia, and was proverbial
for his truth and honesty.
It was suggested that it would be becoming to open
their sessions with prayer. This proposition was thought
by some to be inexpedient, since perhaps the delegates
could not all join in the same form of worship. At length
Samuel Adams, who was a strict Congregational ist, arose
and said : " I will willingly join in prayer with any gen-
352 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, tleman of piety and virtue, whatever may be his cloth,
— provided he is a friend of his country." On his motion,
1774# the Rev. Mr. Duche, a popular Episcopal clergyman, of
Philadelphia, was invited to officiate as chaplain. Mr.
Duche accepted the invitation. A rumor, in the mean
time, reached Philadelphia that General Gage had bom-
barded Boston. When the Congress assembled the next
morning, anxiety and sympathy were depicted on every
countenance.- The rumor, though it proved to be false,
excited feelings of brotherhood, hitherto unknown.
The chaplain read the thirty-fifth psalm, and then,
carried away by his emotions, burst forth into an extem-
porary prayer to the Lord of Hosts to be their helper.
"It seemed," says John Adams, in a letter to his wife,
" as if Heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that
morning. He prayed, in language eloquent and sublime >
for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massa-
chusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston. It
has had an excellent effect upon everybody here."
When the prayer was closed, a long and death-like
silence ensued, as if each one hesitated " to open a busi-
ness so momentous." At length Patrick Henry slowly
arose, faltering at first, " as if borne down by the weight
of his subject;" but the fires of his wonted eloquence be-
gan to glow, as he recited the colonial wrongs already
endured, and foretold those yet to come. " Rising, as he
advanced, with the grandeur of his subject, and glowing
at length with all the majesty and expectation of the
occasion, his speech seemed more than that of mortal
man." He inspired the entire Congress with his liberal
sentiments; they found a response in every heart when
he exclaimed: "British oppression has effaced the boun-
daries of the several colonies; the distinctions between
Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Eng-
enders, are no more. 1 am not a Virginian, but an
American." When he closed, the members were not
THE PAPERS ISSUED BY CONGRESS. 353
merely astonished at his matchless eloquence, but the chap.
importance of the subject had overwhelmed them.
The Congress appointed a committee, which drew up
a "Declaration of Rights. " In this they enumerated
their natural rights to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and
property; as British subjects, they claimed to participate
in making their own laws; in imposing their own taxes;
the right of trial by jury in the vicinage; of holding pub-
lic meetings, and of petitioning for redress of grievances.
They protested against a standing army in the colonies
without their consent, and against eleven acts passed
since the accession of George III., as violating the rights
of the colonies. It was added, "To these grievous acts
and measures Americans cannot submit."
To obtain redress they resolved to enter upon peace-
able measures. They agreed to form an " American Asso-
ciation," in whose articles they pledged themselves not to
trade with Great Britain or the West Indies, nor with
those engaged in the slave-trade — which was especially
denounced — not to use British goods or tea, and not to
trade with any colony which would refuse to join the asso-
ciation. Committees were to be appointed in the various
districts to see that these articles were strictly carried into
Elaborate papers were also issued, in which the views
of the Congress were set forth still more fully. A petition
to the king was written by John Dickinson, of Pennsylva-
nia; he also wrote an Address to the people of Canada.
The Memorial to the people of the colonies was written
by Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, and the Address to
the people of Great Britain by John Jay, of New York.
Every measure was carefully discussed, and though on
some points there was much diversity of opinion, yet, as
Congress sat with closed doors, only the results of these
discussions went forth to the country, embodied in resolu-
354 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, tions, and signed by the members. These papers attracted
XXVI . .
the attention of thinking men in England. Said Chat-
1774, ham, "When your lordships look at the papers trans-
mitted to us from America; when you consider their
decency, firmness, and wisdom, you cannot but respect
their cause, and wish to make it your own. For myself,
I must avow, and I have studied the master states of the
world, I know not the people, or senate, who, for solidity
of reason, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion,
under such a complication of difficult circumstances, can
stand in preference to the delegates of America assembled
in General Congress at Philadelphia. The histories of
Greece and Rome give us nothing to equal it, and all
attempts to impose servitude upon such a mighty conti-
nental nation, must be vain."
COMMENCEMENT OF THE REVOLUTION.
The Spirit of the People. — Gage alarmed. — The People seize Guns
and Ammunition. — The Massachusetts Provincial Congress;
its Measures. — Parliament passes the Restraining Bill. — Con-
flicts at Lexington and Concord. — Volunteers fly to Arms, and
beleaguer Boston. — Stark. — Putnam. — Benedict Arnold. —
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. — Capture of Ticon-
deroga. — Lord Dunmore in Virginia. — Patrick Henry and the
Independent Companies. — The News from Lexington rouses a
Spirit of Resistance. — The second Continental Congress; it
takes decisive Measures; adopts the Army before Boston, and
appoints Washington Commander-in-chief.
While Congress was yet in session, affairs began to wear chap.
a serious aspect in and around Boston. The people were
practising military exercises. Every village and district
had its company of minute-men — men pledged to each
other to be ready for action at a minute's warning. Eng-
land soon furnished them an occasion. The ministry pro-
hibited the exportation of military stores to America, and
sent secret orders to the royal governors, to seize all the
arms and gunpowder in the magazines. Gage complied
with these orders. When it became known that he had
secretly sent a company of soldiers by night, who had
seized the powder in the arsenal at Charlestown, and con-
veyed it to Castle William, the minute-men assembled at
once. Their eagerness to go to the governor and compel
him to restore it to the arsenal could scarcely be re-
Ere long various rumors were rife in the country — that
Boston was to be attacked; that the fleet was bombarding
356 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, it; that the soldiers were shooting down the citizens in its
• streets. Thousands of the sturdy yeomanry of Massa-
1774, chusetts and Connecticut credited these rumors; they
left their farms and their shops, and hastened to the res-
cue. Before they had advanced far they learned that the
reports were untrue. General Gage was alarmed by this
significant movement ; he did not apprehend its full im-
port, neither did he rightly discern the signs of the times,
nor read the spirit of the people; he was a soldier, and
understood the power that lies in soldiers and fortifica-
tions, but knew nothing of the power of free principles.
He determined to fortify the neck which connects Boston,
with the mainland, and place there a regiment, to cut off
all communication between the people in the country and
those in the town.
1774 Intelligence of these proceedings spread rapidly
Dec. through the land. The people took possession of the ar-
senal at Charlestown, from which the powder had been
removed. At Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, a company
led by John Sullivan, afterward a major-general, cap-
tured the fort, and carried off one hundred barrels of
powder and some cannon. At Newport, in the absence of
the men-of-war, forty-four pieces of a^tilJ^ry were seized
and conveyed vo Providonce. In Conixecticat, the A^em-
bly enjoined upon the towns to lay in a double supply of
ammunition, to mount their cannon, and to train the
militia frequently. This spirit was not confined to New
England, but prevailed in the middle and southern colo-
nies, where the people took energetic measures to put
themselves in a posture of defence.
In the midst of this commotion, Gage, thinking to
conciliate, summoned the Massachusetts Assembly to
Oct. meet at Salem; but, alarmed at the spirit manifested at
5 - the town meetings in the province, he countermanded the
order. The Assembly, however, met; and as no one ap-
peared to administer the oaths, and open the session, the
MASSACHUSETTS ADOPTS DECIDED MEASURES. 357
members adjourned to Concord, and there organized as a chap.
Provincial Congress. They elected John Hancock Presi- -
dent, and Benjamin Lincoln Secretary. Lincoln was a
farmer, and afterward became an efficient major-general
in the revolutionary army. This was the first provincial
Assembly organized independently of royal authority.
They sent an address to Gage, in which they com-
plained of the recent acts of Parliament ; of his own high-
handed measures; of his fortifying Boston Neck, and
requested him to desist ; at the same time they protested
their loyalty to the king, and their desire for peace and
order. Gage replied that he was acting in self-defence,
and admonished them to desist from their own unlawful
The Assembly disregarded the admonition, went
quietly to work, appointed two committees, one of safety,
and the other of supplies, — the former was empowered to
call out the minute-men, when it was necessary, and the
latter to supply them with provisions of all kinds. They
then appointed two general officers — Artemas Ward, one
of the judges of the court, and Seth Pomeroy, a veteran
of threescore and ten, who had seen service in the French
war. They resolved to enlist twelve thousand minute-
men, and invited the other New England colonies to in-
crease the number to twenty thousand. The note of alarm
was everywhere heard ; preparations for defence were
everywhere apparent. In Virginia the militia companies
burnished their arms and practised their exercises. Wash-
ington, their highest military authority, was invited, and
often visited different parts of the country, to inspect
these volunteers on their review days.
The attention of all was now turned to the new Par- 1775.
liament about to assemble. To some extent, a change J i|P*
had come over the minds of many of the English people;
the religious sympathies of the Dissenters were specially
enlisted in favor of the colonists. The papers issued by
358 HISTOM' OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, the Continental Congress had been published and circu-
- lated extensively in England, by the exertions of Frank-
1775. jj n an( j others. Their plain, unvarnished statements of
facts, and their claim for the colonists to enjoy British as
well as natural rights, had elicited sympathy.
Chatham, though much enfeebled, hurried up to Lon-
don to plead once more for American rights. He brought
in a bill, which he hoped would remove the difficulties;
but the House spurned every scheme of reconciliation
short of absolute submission on the part of the colonists #
Lord North, urged on by his colleagues in the ministry,
whom he had not strength of will to resist, went further
than ever. The Boston Port Bill had not accomplished
its design; and now he introduced what was termed the
New England Restraining Bill, which deprived the people
of those colonies of the privilege of fishing on the banks
of Newfoundland. He declared Massachusetts was in
rebellion, and the other colonies, by their associations,
were aiding and abetting her. Parliament pledged itself
to aid the king in maintaining his authority.
Mar. The next month came intelligence to England, that
the Colonial Assemblies had not only approved the reso-
lutions of the Continental Congress, but had determined
to support them. To punish them for this audacity, Par-
liament passed a second Restraining Act, to apply to all
the colonies except New York, Delaware, and North Car-
olina. The object of this mark of favor signally failed;
these colonies could not be bribed to desert their sisters.
General Gage had learned, by means of spies, that at
Concord, eighteen miles from Boston, the patriots had
collected ammunition and military stores. These he de-
termined to destroy. His preparations were made with
the greatest secrecy; but the Sons of Liberty were vigi-
lant. Dr. Warren, one of the committee of safety, noticed
the unusual stir; the collection of boats at certain points;
that the light infantry and grenadiers were taken off duty. chap.
He sent information of what he had seen and suspected '-
to John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were at Lex- 1775,
ington. It was rightly surmised that Concord was the
object of the intended expedition. It was to leave Boston
on the night of the eighteenth of April; on that day April
Gage issued orders forbidding any one to leave the town I8#
after dark. Again the vigilance of Warren had antici-
pated him. Before his order could go into effect, Paul
Revere and William Dawes, two swift and trusty messen-
gers, were on the way to the country, by different routes.
A lantern held out from the steeple of the North Church —
the concerted signal to the patriots in Charlestown —
warned them that something imusual was going on. Mes-
sengers from that place hurried to rouse the country.
About ten o'clock, under cover of the darkness, eight
or nine hundred men, light infantry and grenadiers, em-
barked and crossed to Cambridge, and thence, with as
little noise as possible, took up their line of march. To
their surprise they heard in advance of them the tolling
of bells, and the firing of alarm guns; evidently they
were discovered. Lieutenant-colonel Smith sent back to
Gage for reinforcements, and also ordered Major Pitcairn
to press forward, and seize the two bridges at Concord.
Pitcairn advanced rapidly and arrested every person he
met or overtook, but a countryman, who evaded him,
spurred on to Lexington, and gave the alarm. At dawn
of day Pitcairn's division reached that place. Seventy
or eighty minute-men, with some other persons, were on
the green. They were uncertain as to the object of the
British. It was thought they wished to arrest Hancock April
and Adams, both of whom had left the place. Pitcairn 19 -
ordered his men to halt and load their muskets; then
riding up he cried out, — " Disperse, you rebels." " Down
with your arms, you villains, and disperse," was echoed
by his officers. Confusion ensued; random shots were
360 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, fired on both sides; then, by a volley from the British,
seven men were killed and nine wounded. The Ameri-
1775, cans dispersed, and the British soldiers gave three cheers
for their victory! By whom the first shot was fired is
uncertain. Each party charged it upon the other. Be
that as it may, here was commenced the eight years' war
of the revolution.
Presently Colonel Smith came up, and in half an hour
the entire body moved on toward Concord, six miles dis-
tant. Information of the firing at Lexington had already
reached that place. The minute-men were assembled
on the green near the church. About seven o'clock the
enemy appeared, in two divisions. The minute-men re-
treated across a bridge to the top of a neighboring hill.
The British placed a strong guard at the bridge, and
spent two hours in destroying what stores they could find,
as the greater part had been concealed, and pillaging some
private dwellings. Meantime the little company on the
hill increased rapidly, and soon it numbered about four
hundred and fifty. They advanced upon the guard, who
fired upon them, and skirmishing commenced. As the
British began to retreat they were followed by an irregular
and galling fire from behind trees, and fences, and houses.
In vain they sent flanking-parties to free themselves from
their assailants, who were increasing every minute; the
nimble yeomanry would retire before these parties, only to
appear at a more favorable point. Colonel Smith was se-
verely wounded, and many of his men killed. He had con-
sumed more than two hours in retreating to Lexington;
there, fortunately for him, Lord Percy, who insultingly
had marched out of Boston to the tune of Yankee Doodle,
met him with a thousand men and two field-pieces. The
fainting and exhausted troops were received in a hollow
square, where they rested, while the fresh soldiers kept the
indomitable "rebels" at bay with their field-pieces.
While the enemy were thus halting, General Heath,
THE HASTY RETREAT — VOLUNTEERS FLY TO ARMS. 361
whom the Massachusetts Provincial Congress had ap- chap.
pointed to command the minute-men, came upon the .
ground, and also Dr. Warren. They directed the Ameri- 1775#
cans, whose attacks were now more in concert, but still
irregular. The British set fire to dwellings in Lexington,
then renewed their retreat, pillaging and burning as they
went. The Americans, greatly exasperated, harassed
them at every step. Lord Percy's condition became very
critical. The country was roused; new assailants poured
in from every side ; every moment he was more and more
encumbered by the number of the wounded, while his am-
munition was nearly exhausted. Had he been delayed an
hour longer, his retreat would have been cut off by a pow-
erful force from Marblehead and Salem. " If the retreat/ 7
writes Washington, "had not been as precipitate as it
was — and God knows it could not well have been more
so — the ministerial troops must have surrendered, or been
totally cut off." In this affair, about eighty of the Ameri-
cans were killed or wounded, and of the British nearly
Intelligence of this conflict spread rapidly through the
country; couriers hastened from colony to colony. In
New England, volunteers flew to arms, and in ten days
an irregular army completely blockaded the British in
Boston, by a line of encampments, that extended from
Roxbury to beyond Charlestown — a distance of nine
miles. The fire of other days glowed in the breasts of the
old campaigners of the French war, — none were more
ready than they. John Stark, whom we have seen leading
his men in that war, waited not for invitation nor commis-
sion ; in ten minutes after he heard the news he was on his
way. Israel Putnam, another name associated with deeds
of daring in French and Indian warfare, was laboring in
his field when the courier passed along. He left the work,
mounted a horse, roused his neighbors, and, without
changing his clothes, hastened to Boston. Putnam was
368 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN POBPLH.
chap, a native of Salem, Massachusetts, but for many years a
- resident of Connecticut. Though now almost sixty years
1775, of age, he was buoyant in spirits as a boy, impulsive and
frank as he was fearless, and too generous to suspect
others of guile.
At this crisis, the Massachusetts Congress took ener-
getic measures. A regiment of artillery was formed, the
command of which was given to the aged Gridley, who,
thirty years before, commanded the artillery at the taking
of Louisburg. In the other colonies, the people were not
inactive; they seized arms and ammunition wherever
found, repudiated the royal authority, and each for itself
called a Provincial Congress.
It was suggested to the Massachusetts Committee of
Safety to seize the two posts, Ticonderoga and Crown
Point, on Lake Champlain, and thus secure the " key of
Canada," as well as the cannon and other military stores
there deposited. Benedict Arnold, who commanded a
company in the camp before Boston, entered into the proj-
ect with great ardor. Arnold was a man of impulsive
temper, petulant, headstrong, and reckless of danger; he
thirsted for an opportunity to distinguish himself. The
Committee gave him the commission of colonel, with au-
thority to raise men and accomplish the object. He
learned that others were engaged in the same enterprise,
and without waiting to enlist men, he set out immediately
for Vermont. There he met the redoubtable Ethan Al-
len — an original character — who from his very singulari-
ties exerted a great influence over his companions. When
he harangued them, as he often did, " his style, though a
singular compound of local barbarisms, and scriptural
phrases, and oriental wildhess, was highly animated and
forcible." The territory now known as the State of Ver-
mont, was claimed at this time by both New York and
New Hampshire; but the inhabitants preferred to live
CAPTURE OF TICONDEROGA. 363
under the rule of the latter, and formed combinations to chap.
resist the authority of New York. Allen was the leader 1
of "the Green Mountain Boys," as association formed 1775,
for this purpose.
These Green Mountain Boys, numbering about two
hundred and seventy, with Allen at their head, were al-
ready on their way to Ticonderoga. Within a few miles
of the head of Lake Champlain, Arnold overtook them.
By virtue of his commission as colonel, he ordered Allen
to surrender the command into his hands. . Allen refused,
nor would his men march under any other leader. It was
finally arranged that Arnold should go as a volunteer, re-
taining the rank of colonel without the command. The
following night the party reached Shoreham, a point on
the lake opposite Ticonderoga. At dawn of day, as they May
had but few boats, only eighty-three men with Arnold
and Allen had crossed over.
They could delay no longer, lest they should be dis-
covered, and Allen proposed to move on at once to the
fort. Guided by a boy of the neighborhood, a brisk run
up the hill soon brought them to the entrance. They
secured the two sentinels, one of whom they compelled to
show the way to the quarters of Captain Delaplace, the
commandant. The vigorous knocks of Allen at his door
soon roused him. When he appeared, half -a wake and
half-dressed, Allen flourished his sword, and called upon
him to surrender the fort. The commandant stammered
out, "By whose authority do you act?" "In the name
of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress,"
thundered Allen. This was a demonstration not to be
resisted. The cheers of Allen's men had already roused
the garrison, all of whom were taken prisoners.
Two days later Seth Warner, Allen's lieutenant, with
a detachment, took Crown Point. Arnold then obtained
boats, pushed on, and captured St. John's in the Sorel.
Altogether, sixty prisoners were taken, and what was far
364 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, more important, two hundred cannons and a large supply
- of gunpowder.
Two days after the affair at Lexington, Lord Dun-
more, governor of Virginia, sent a company of marines,
April who, in the night, entered the capital, Williamsburg, and
20, carried off from the public arsenal about twenty barrels of
powder, and conveyed them on board an armed schooner
lying in James river. When the inhabitants learned the
fact the next morning, they were greatly exasperated.
Numbers flew to arms with the intention of recovering the
powder. By the persuasions of the leading citizens, and of
the council, they were restrained from acts of violence.
The Council, however, addressed a remonstrance to
the governor, who promised, verbally, to restore the pow-
der when it should be needed. The people deemed his
answer unsatisfactory. When intelligence came of the
conflict at Concord, it flashed upon their minds that the
seizure of the powder and munitions of war in the colo-
nies was concerted by the royal governors, in accordance
with instructions from the ministry.
May Patrick Henry invited the independent companies of
2 - the county of Hanover to meet him at a certain place on
the second of May. They, seven hundred strong, obeyed
the call. He made known why they were called together;
spoke of the fight at Concord, and the occasion of it.
Then, at their head, he marched towards Williamsburg,
determined either to have the powder returned, or its
value in money. On their way a messenger from the
frightened governor met them, and tendered the money
for the full value of the powder. The money was after-
ward sent to Congress.
The companies now disbanded, with the understand-
ing that when called upon, they were to be ready to
march at a minute's warning. Thus did Virginia emulate
THE PEOPLE RISE IN OPPOSITION. 36o
Dunmore, in the mean while, fled with his family on chap.
. . XXVII.
board a man-of-war, and thence issued one of his harm-
less proclamations, in which he declared " a certain Pat- 1775,
rick Henry and his associates to be in rebellion."
A few days before he had said, " The whole country
can easily be made a solitude;" and he threatened to
declare freedom to the slaves, arm them, and lay Wil-
liamsburg in ashes!
As the news from Lexington and Concord reached the
various portions of the colonies the people rose in opposi-
tion. The whigs were indignant at the outrage, and the
royalists censured Gage for his rash and harsh measures.
In New York, the Sons of Liberty, with Robert Sears,
the sturdy mechanic, at their head, seized eighty thou-
sand pounds of flour, which was on board of sloops ready
to be taken to Boston for the king's troops; they shut up
the custom-house, and forbade vessels to leave the harbor
for any colony of port which acknowledged British au-
thority ; they secured the arms and ammunition belong-
ing to the city, while the volunteers turned out and pa-
raded the streets. The General Committee was dilatory;
another was chosen * d 9ct with i^cr^ energy. A r -^icia-
tiou Wu,o formea vv1xjv3 menx/™ v k;dged i . v/es,
" under all ties of religion, honor, and love of country, to
submit to committees and to Congress, to withhold sup-
ples from the British troops, and, at the risk of lives and
fortunes, to repel every attempt at enforcing taxation by
Similar was the spirit manifested in the Jerseys. In
Philadelphia, thousands of the citizens assembled and
resolved, " To associate for the purpose of defending with
arms, their lives, their property, and liberty." Thomas
Mifflin, the warlike young Quaker, urged them in his
speech, "not to be bold in declarations and cold in ac-
tion." Military companies were formed in the neighbor-
306 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEQPLR.
oh a p. ing counties, as well as in the city, who armed themselves
and daily practised their exercises.
1775. j n Maryland, Eden, the royalist governor, in order to
conciliate, gave up to the people the arms and ammuni-
tion of the province.
In Charleston, the people at once distributed the
twelve hundred stand of arms which they seized in the
royal arsenal, while the Provincial Congress, with Henry
Laurens, a Huguenot by descent, as their president, de-
clared themselves " ready to sacrifice their lives and for-
tunes to secure freedom and safety." The officers of the
militia threw up their commissions from the governor,
and declared themselves ready to submit to the authority
of Congress. Regiments of infantry and rangers were im-
Georgia, which had hitherto been lukewarm, now took
decided ground. The people broke into the royal maga-
zine, from which they took all the powder, five hundred
pounds. The committee wrote words of encouragement
and commendation to the people of Massachusetts, and
sent them rice and specie.
In North Carolina, as the news passed from place to
place, it awakened the spirit of resistance to tyranny.
The highlands along her western frontier were settled by
Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent, " who were said to
possess the impulsiveness of the Irishman with the dogged
resolution of the Covenanter." A county convention was
in session when the courier arrived. Fired with indigna-
tion, the delegates resolved to throw off u the authority
of the king and Parliament." Ephraim Brevard, u trained
in the college at Princeton," and afterward a martyr in
the cause, embodied their sentiments in resolutions,
which declared : " All laws and commissions, confirmed by
or derived from the authority of the king and Parliament
May to be annulled and vacated." To maintain their rights,
they also determined to form nine military companies,
THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRBGS. 367
and to frame laws for the internal government of the chap.
country. This was the famous Mecklenburg Declaration *
Such was the spirit that pervaded the minds of the
entire people. Throughout the land free principles had
laid the train — the spark was applied at Lexington.
On the tenth of May the second Continental Congress May
commenced its session at Philadelphia. They organized
without changing the officers of the year before. In a
few days, however, Peyton Randolph resigned the presi-
dency to return to Virginia and preside over the Assem-
bly, which had been called by the governor.
Thomas Jefferson was sent to supply his place as a
delegate, and John Hancock was elected president. Har-
rison, of Virginia, in conducting him to the chair, said:
"We will show Britain how much we value her pro-
scriptions." For it was well known that Hancock and
Samuel Adams were deemed rebels too great to be par-
Dr. Franklin had returned only a few days before
from England, where he had been for some years in the
capacity of agent for some of the colonies. There his en-
lightened statesmanship and far-seeing judgment had
won the respect of liberal-minded Englishmen. He was
at once chosen a delegate. Also, in addition to the mem-
bers of the first Congress, appeared George Clinton and
Robert R. Livingston, from New York.
The members were encouraged, for the measures of
the first Congress had been approved by the assemblies
of all the colonies.
The first General Congress met to protest and peti-
tion; the second to assume authority and take decisive
measures. Then the door was open for reconciliation
with the mother country, now it was almost closed. The
face of affairs was changed; blood had been wantonly
368 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, shed, and a beleaguering host of rustic soldiery were be-
1 sieging the enemy.
1775, Congress was imbued with the spirit of the time. In
committee of the whole reports were called for on the
state of the country. These disposed of, they passed to
other matters; reviewed the events of the last year; in-
vestigated the causes which led to the conflicts at Lexing-
ton and Concord. The timid proposed to memorialize
Parliament once more. No! argued John Adams, and
many others; it is useless, we have been spurned from
the throne, and our petitions treated with contempt;
such a memorial would embarrass our proceedings, and
have no influence upon Parliament. Yet another peti-
tion was, in form, voted to the king, and while they de-
nied any intention to cast off their allegiance, they pro-
ceeded to put the colonies in a posture of defence.
They formed a " Federal Union," by whose provisions
each colony was to manage its own internal concerns ; but
all measures pertaining to the whole community, such as
treaties of peace or alliance, the regulation of commerce,
or declaration of war, came under the jurisdiction of Con-
gress. They recognized Him who holds in His hands the
destinies of nations. They issued a proclamation for a
day of solemn fasting and prayer.
Congress now assumed the authority of the central
power of the nation. They forbade persons, under any
circumstances, to furnish provisions to the British navy
or troops ; took measures to enlist an army and to build
fortifications, and to procure arms and ammunition. To
defray expenses, they issued "Bills of Credit," amount-
ing to two millions of dollars, for whose redemption they
pledged the faith of the "United Colonies." In accord-
ance with the request of the Provincial Congress of Massa-
chusetts, they adopted the volunteers in the camp before
Boston, as the continental army. It remained to appoint
a Commander-in-chief. On this subject there were diver-
WASHINGTON CHOSEN COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. 369
si ties of opinion. Some thought a New England army chap.
would prefer a New England commander; others strove
to appoint a commander acceptable to all sections of the 1775,
country. The members of Congress acknowledged the
military talents of Washington, and appreciated his lib-
eral views as a statesman. As chairman of the committee
on military affairs, he had suggested the majority of the
rules for the army, and of the measures for defence. At
this time came intimations in a private letter from Dr.
Warren to Samuel Adams, that many leading men in
Massachusetts desired his appointment as commander-
Patrick Henry, when asked, on his return home from
the first Congress, who of the members was the greatest
man, had replied, " If you speak of eloquence, Mr. Rut-
ledge, of South Carolina, is, by far, the greatest orator;
but if you speak of solid information and sound judg-
ment, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest
man on that floor."
John Adams took occasion to point out what, under
the present circumstances, should be the qualifications of
a commander-in-chief, and closed by remarking, that
they knew a man who had these qualifications — " a mem-
ber of this house from Virginia." He alluded to Washing-
ton. A few days after, the army was regularly adopted,
and the salary of the commander-in-chief fixed at five
hundred dollars a month. That arranged, Mr. Johnson,
of Maryland, nominated Washington for the office. The
election was by ballot, and he was unanimously chosen.
The next day the president of Congress formally an- June
nounced to him his election. Washington rose in his seat 15 -
and briefly expressed his gratitude for the unexpected
honor, and his devotion to the cause. Then he added, " I
beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in this
room, that I this day declare, with the utmost sincerity,
370 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. I do not think myself equal to the command I am hon-
- ored with/' Refusing any pay, he continued, "I will
1775, keep an exact account of my expenses. Those, I doubt
not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire." Con-
gress resolved "to maintain and assist, and adhere to
him with their lives and fortunes in the defence of
THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.
Battle of Bunker Hill. — Death of Warren. — Washington on his way
to join the Army. — Generals Charles Lee and Schuyler. — State
of Affairs in New York. — Sir William Johnson. — The Condition
of the Army. — Nathaniel Greene. — Morgan and his Riflemen. —
Wants of the Army. — Difficulties on Lake Champlain. — Expe-
dition against Canada. — Richard Montgomery. — Allen's rash
Adventure. — Montreal captured. — Arnold's toilsome March to
Quebec. — That Place besieged. — Failure to storm the Town. —
Death of Montgomery. — Arnold in his Icy-Fortress.
For two months the armies in and around Boston had chap.
watched each other. General Gage, in the mean time, XXVIIL
had received large reinforcements. These were led by 1775.
three commanders of reputation: Generals Howe, Bur- ^5 y
goyne, and Henry Clinton. We may judge of the sur-
prise of these generals to find the king's regulars " hemmed
in by what they termed a rustic rout, with calico frocks
and fowling-pieces." " What! " exclaimed Burgoyne,
"ten thousand peasants keep five thousand king's troops
shut up! Well, let us get in, and we'll soon find elbow-
room." This vain boast was followed by no decided
movement. Gage merely sent forth a proclamation, de-
clared the province under martial law, and offered pardon
to all the rebels who should return to their allegiance, ex-
cept Samuel Adams and John Hancock. These "rebels"
were placed beyond the pale of the king's mercy.
The patriot soldiers, numbering about fifteen thou-
sand, had come from their various towns, in independent
companies, under their own leaders; their friends in their
372 HISTOBY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, respective towns supplied them with provisions. The
. 'Massachusetts troops were under General Ward; John
1775 - Stark led the New Hampshire volunteers; Putnam com-
manded those from Connecticut, and Nathaniel Greene
the regiment from Rhode Island. The artillery, consisting
of nine pieces, was under the control of the venerable
Colonel Gridley. The great majority of the soldiers were
clad in their homespun working clothes; some had rifles
and some had fowling-pieces. The British greatly exas-
perated them by taunts and acts expressive of contempt.
Opposed to the motley group of patriot soldiers, was a
well-disciplined army of ten thousand men, under ex-
It was rumored that Gage intended to seize and
fortify Bunker's Hill and Dorchester Heights — the one
lying north and the other south of the town. In order
to prevent this, some of the patriots proposed that they
should take possession of the hill themselves. The more
cautious were opposed to the enterprise, as extremely
hazardous; it might provoke a general action, and they
were deficient in ammunition and guns. But the fearless
Putnam felt confident, with proper intrenchments, the
patriots could not fail of success. "The Americans/'
said he, "are never afraid of their heads, they only think
of their legs; shelter them, and they will fight forever."
It was reported that the enemy intended to seize Bunker
Hill on the night of the eighteenth of June, and therefore
not a moment was to be lost. On the evening of Friday
16. the sixteenth, a company of about twelve hundred men,
with their arms, and provisions for twenty-four hours, as-
sembled on the common at Cambridge. Very few of them
knew where they were going, but all knew that it was
into danger. Prayer was offered by President Langdon,
of Harvard College. About nine o'clock they commenced
their march, under the command of Colonel William
Prescott, a veteran of the French war; one in whom the
From sUreojjraph, copyright, 1903, by Underwoo.l A Underwood, N. Y.
CRAIGIE HOUSE— WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS AT CAMBRIDGE
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. 373
soldiers had implicit confidence. Charlestown Neck was chap.
strongly guarded, but they passed over it in safety, and '
were soon on the ground. Bunker Hill was designated in 1775 -
the orders, but Breed's Hill, as it had a better command
of the harbor, was fortified instead. The ground was
speedily marked out, and about midnight the men com-
menced their labors. Early daylight revealed to the aston-
ished eyes of the British sailors in the harbor the strong
redoubt that had sprung up so suddenly on the hill-top,
and the Americans still busy at their work. Without
waiting for orders, the sloop-of-war Lively opened her
guns upon them; a floating battery and other ships did
the same. The firing roused the people of Boston. Gage,
through his spy-glass, noticed Prescott, who was on the
parapet inspecting the works. " Who is that officer in
command," he asked; "will he fight?" "He is an old
soldier, and will fight to the last drop of his blood," re-
plied one who knew Prescott well. " The works must
be carried," remarked Gage. An hour later the plan of
attack was decided upon by a council of war.
From the heights the Americans saw and heard the
bustle of preparation. Repeated messages were sent to
General Ward for the promised reinforcements. Putnam
hurried to Cambridge to urge the demand in person.
Ward hesitated lest he should weaken the main division.
It wa,s eleven o'clock before Stark and Reed, with their
regiments, were ordered to the relief of Prescott, and the
wearied soldiers, who had been laboring all night at the
About noon, twenty-eight barges filled with soldiers,
under the command of Generals Howe and Pigott, left
Boston. The ships kept up an incessant cannonade to
cover their landing. General Howe discovered that the
works were stronger than he anticipated, and he sent to
General Gage for reinforcements; his men, while waiting,
were regaled with refreshments and "grog." Meantime
374 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
di-iap. the Americans strengthened their works, and formed a
L rustic breastwork; to do this, they pulled up a post-and-
JT'A rail fence, placed it behind a stone fence, and filled the
space between with new-mown grass. This extended
down the side of the hill north of the redoubt to a swamp.
Now they were cheered by the sight of Stark, who ap-
peared with five hundred men. As he marched leisurely
along, some one suggested a rapid movement. The vet-
eran replied, "One fresh man in action is worth ten tired
ones; " and he moved quietly on. A part of his force
halted with Putnam at Bunker Hill, and a part joined
Knowlton behind the fence breastwork. About two
o'clock, Dr. Warren, who had recently been appointed
major-general, but had not received his commission, ar-
rived. He came, as did Pomeroy, to serve in the ranks.
When Putnam pointed him to the redoubt, and said,
"There you will be under cover," "Don't think," replied
Warren, " that I seek a place of safety — where will the
attack be the hottest?" Still pointing to the same spot
Putnam answered: "That is the enemy's object; if that
can be maintained the day is ours." When Warren en-
tered the redoubt, the soldiers received him with hearty
cheers. Prescott offered him the command, which he
gracefully declined, saying: "I shall be happy to learn
from a soldier of your experience."
The day was clear and bright: the British, in their
brilliant uniforms, presented a fine appearance. Thou-
sands watched every movement from the house-tops in
Boston and from the neighboring hills. Fathers, hus-
bands, sons, and brothers were to meet the enemy, for
the first time, in a regular battle. The expedition had
commenced with prayer 'on Cambridge green, and now
minister McClintock, of New Hampshire, was passing
among the men praying and exhorting them to stand firm.
About half-past two o'clock, the British, confident of
an easy victory, advanced; one division, under General
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. 375
Pigott, marched up the hill to storm the redoubt in front, chap.
while the other, under General Howe, advanced against the '
fence breastwork, in order to gain the rear and cut off the 1775 «
retreat. The redoubt was commanded by Prescott. Stark,
Knowlton, and Reed, with some of the New Hampshire
and Connecticut men, were at the fence. As he saw the
enemy advancing, Prescott, with his usual presence of
mind, passed among his men and encouraged them. "The
redcoats," said he, "will never reach the redoubt, if you
will but withhold your fire till I give the order, and be
careful not to shoot over their heads." The impetuous
Putnam, who seems to have had no special command, was
everywhere. "Wait till you see the whites of their eyes,
aim at their waistbands, pick off the handsome coats,
steady my lads," were his directions as he rode along the
lines. "Wait for orders and fire low," was the policy
that controlled the movements on Bunker Hill.
The British, as they advanced, kept up an incessant
discharge of musketry. Not a sound issued from the
Americans. When Pigott's division came within forty
paces, those in the redoubt levelled their guns for a mo-
ment, then Prescott gave the word: "Fire!" Whole
ranks were cut down. The enemy fell back, but urged on
by their officers, again advanced. The Americans allowed
them to come nearer than before, but received them more
warmly. The carnage was dreadful; Pigott himself or-
dered a retreat. At the same moment Howe's division
was also retreating. The brave band who guarded the
fence, had allowed him to advance within thirty paces,
then had poured in their reserved fire with deadly effect.
Both divisions retired down the hill to the shore. Gage
had threatened that he would burn the town of Charles-
town if the Americans should occupy the heights. The
threat was now carried into execution by bombs thrown
from the ships and Copp's Hill. The conflagration added
new horrors to the scene.
HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. The British resolved upon a second attack. This
proved a counterpart of the first. By volleys discharged
at the right moment, and with unerring aim, their whole
force was driven back. Their officers labored to check
them, even urged them on with their swords, but in vain,
they retreated to the shore. "If we drive them back
once more," exclaimed Prescott, " they cannot rally
again." " We are ready for the redcoats again," was
the response from the redoubt.
General Clinton watched the movements from Copp's
Hill. He witnessed the repulse of the " king's regulars "
with astonishment; he hastened over as a volunteer with
reinforcements. Some officers were opposed to another
attack; they thought it little short of butchery to lead
men in the face of such sharp-shooting. Now they learned
that the ammunition of the Americans was nearly ex-
hausted. They resolved to carry the redoubt at the point
of the bayonet. The attack was to be specially directed
against an open space which they had noticed between
the breastwork and the fortified fence. The Americans
used what little powder they had with great effect; they
could pour in but a single volley upon the enemy; but
by this a number of British officers were slain. The Brit-
ish, however, advanced with fixed bayonets, and assailed
the redoubt on three sides. The first who appeared on
the parapet, as he cried out, " The day is ours," was shot
down. Now followed a desperate encounter; those Amer-
icans who had not bayonets fought with stones and the
butts of their muskets. It was impossible to maintain the
ground; Prescott gave the word, and they commenced an
orderly retreat. The aged Pomeroy clubbed his musket
and retreated with his face to the enemy. Stark, Knowl-
ton, and Reed, kept their position at the fence till their
companions had left the redoubt and passed down the
hill, and thus prevented the enemy from cutting off the
retreat; then they slowly retired.
CHAHLES LEB — PHILIP SCHUYLER. 377
About three thousand British were engaged in this chap.
battle, and about fifteen hundred Americans. The British -
lost more than one thousand men, an unusual proportion 1775 -
of whom were officers, among whom was Major Pitcairn,
of Lexington memory; while the Americans lost but four
hundred and fifty, but among these was Dr. Warren. He
was one of the last to leave the redoubt; he had scarcely
passed beyond it when he fell. On the morning of that
day he had expressed himself willing, if necessary, to die
for his country. — That country has embalmed his name
as one of the bravest and noblest of her sons.
The raw militia had met the British "regulars," and
had proved themselves their equals; they left the field
only when destitute of ammunition.
The British ministry was not satisfied with this vic-
tory, nor were the Americans discouraged by this defeat.
When the news of the battle reached England, General
Gage was at once recalled. When Washington learned
of it from the courier who was hastening to Congress with
the news, he exclaimed: "The liberties of the country
are safe! "
This famous battle took place on the seventeenth of
June; on the twenty-first Washington, accompanied by
Generals Lee and Schuyler, left Philadelphia to join the
army as Commander-in-chief. General Charles Lee was
an Englishman by birth; a soldier by profession, he had
been engaged in campaigns in various parts of Europe,
and in the French war. Frank in disposition, but sar-
castic in manner, and evidently soured by disappoint-
ment, he had resigned the British service, and for some
reason indulged in feelings of bitter animosity to the
English name. His connection with their cause was
counted of great consequence by the Americans.
General Philip Schuyler was a native of New York,
of Dutch descent. As a man of wealth, position, educa-
tion, and well-known integrity, he had great influence in
378 HISTORY OF THE AMERICA]* PBOPX1.
chap, that province. He had some experience, also, in military
. ! affairs; during the French war, when a youth of two and
1775. twenty, he campaigned with Sir William Johnson and his
Mohawks. Though in his native province the rich and
influential were generally loyalists, from the beginning of
the troubles Schuyler ardently espoused the cause of the
colonists. He was versed in civil affairs, having been a
member of the New York General Assembly, and recently
a delegate to Congress, where his practical good sense had
attracted attention. At this time, danger was appre-
hended from the Mohawks, who lived in the northern and
central parts of New York. It was feared that, influenced
by the Johnson family, they would rally against the colo-
nists. Sir William Johnson, of whom we have spoken,
the ancestor of this family, was of Scotch-Irish descent, a
man of vigorous mind but of coarse associations; he had
acquired great influence over the Indians by adopting
their customs, had married an Indian wife, sister of
Brandt, the chief, afterward so famous. For nearly thirty
years he was agent for the Five Nations; he became rich
by traffic, and lived in his castle on the Mohawk river, in
baronial style, with Scotch Highlanders as tenants. Sir
William was dead, but his son and heir, John Johnson,
and his son-in-law, Guy Johnson, were suspected of tam-
pering with the Mohawks. No one knew the state of
affairs in New York better than Schuyler; he was ac-
quainted with the tory aristocracy; he understood the
Johnsons, and to him Washington intrusted the charge
of that province.
As a singular incident it may be noted that as Wash-
ington approached New York by way of New Jersey, the
ship on board of which was the royalist governor Tryon,
who was just returning from England, came into the
harbor. The committee appointed to do the honors was
somewhat perplexed. Fortunately their principles were
not tested: these two men, the one the representative of
CONDITION OF THE ARMY. 379
the Continental Congress, the other of the king, did not chap.
reach the city at the same time. The escort that received '.
Washington, were at leisure, a few hours later, to render 1775 -
to Governor Tryon the same honor.
The Commander-in-chief was met at Springfield by
the committee of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress,
and escorted to the camp. The greatest enthusiasm pre-
vailed; the soldiers everywhere greeted him with hearty
cheers. Such a welcome, while it gratified his feelings,
was calculated to increase his sense of responsibility. A
great work was before him — a work not yet begun; he
was to bring order out of confusion; to lead on the cause
of freedom to a successful issue. In his letters written
about this time, he expresses a calm trust in a Divine
Providence, that wisely orders all things.
A personal survey of the army revealed more perfectly
the difficulties to be overcome. It numbered about four-
teen thousand men; to be effective, it must be increased
to twenty or thirty thousand. The troops were unorgan-
ized and undisciplined, without uniforms, poorly clad, and
imperfectly armed. To discipline these volunteers would
be no easy task; they could not be subjected to strict
military rule. Even among this noble band of patriot
officers were jealousies to be soothed, and prejudices to
be regarded. Some felt that they had been overlooked
or underrated in the appointments made by Congress.
A council of war resolved to maintain the present line
of works, to capture the British, or drive them out of
Boston. Washington chose for his headquarters a cen-
tral position at Cambridge; here were stationed Major-
General Putnam and Brigadier-General Heath. General
Artemas Ward was stationed with the right wing at Rox-
bury, and General Charles Lee commanded the left on
Prospect Hill. Under Lee were the Brigadier-Generals
Greene and Sullivan, and under Ward the Generals
380 HISTORY OT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Spencer and Thomas. Of this number, Greene merits
! special notice. His father a farmer, miller, and anchor
1775. smith, as well as occasionally a Quaker preacher, endeav-
ored to train his son in his own faith. The son's tastes were
decidedly military. Of a genial disposition, he was fond
of social amusements, but never at the expense of things
more important. He cultivated his mind by reading the
best English authors of the time on science and history;
to do this he snatched the moments from daily toil. Indus-
trious and strictly temperate, his perceptions were clear,
and his love of order almost a passion. With zest he read
books on military tactics, and before he had laid aside the
Quaker costume, he took lessons in the science of military
drill by watching the exercises and manoeuvres of the
British troops on parade on Boston Common. Their order
and precision had a charm for the embryo general. None
took a deeper interest than he in the questions that agi-
tated the country, and he was more than once chosen by
the people to represent them in the Colonial Legislature.
The army was now joined by some companies of rifle-
men, mostly Scotch and Irish; backwoodsmen of Penn-
sylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, enlisted by orders of
Congress. They had marched six hundred miles in twenty
days. If their peculiar dress, the hunting-shirt, and their
motto, " Liberty or Death," worn on their head-band,
their robust appearance, their stature, scarcely one of
them being less than six feet, excited admiration, much
more did their feats of sharp-shooting. " When advanc-
ing at a quick step," it was said, "they could hit a mark
of seven inches diameter at a distance of two hundred and
fifty yards." Their leader, Daniel Morgan, was a native
of New Jersey, though brought up on the frontiers of
Virginia. When a youth his education had been neglect-
ed; he could scarcely read or write; unpolished in his
manners, generous in his impulses, honorable in his own
feelings, he instinctively scorned meanness or duplicity in
THE INFORMATION LAID BEFORE CONGRESS. 381
others. In his twentieth year, as a wagoner, he took his J££?i
first lessons in warfare in Braddock's unfortunate cam- .
paign. His character adapted itself to emergencies. 1775 -
When left to act in responsible situations, his good
sense was never at fault; wherever placed he performed
well his part.
As soon as he obtained the requisite information,
Washington laid before Congress the state of the army,
with suggestions as to the best means to furnish it with
provisions, munitions, and men. He also suggested that
diversities of uniform had a tendency to encourage sec-
tional feelings, and recommended Congress to provide at
least ten thousand hunting-shirts, adding, "I know noth-
ing in a speculative view more trivial, yet which, if put
in practice, would have a happier tendency to unite the
men, and abolish those provincial distinctions that lead to
jealousy and dissatisfaction." This was the origin of the
peculiar uniform of American soldiers. A few days after
this report was sent to Congress it was discovered that,
by mistake, a false return of the powder in the camp had
been made — the supply was nearly exhausted. This dis-
covery crippled every movement, and left the Americans
at the mercy of the enemy should they be attacked. Their
only safety lay in silence and inaction. Messengers were
hurried in every direction to collect and send to the camp
all the powder that could be obtained. In about a fort-
night they procured a small supply.
We now turn to affairs in New York, where, it will be
remembered, Schuyler had command. After their brave
exploits on Lake Champlain, Arnold and Allen both
claimed authority over the captured forts — the former
referred to Massachusetts, the latter to Connecticut, to
confirm their respective claims. As these forts belonged to
New York, Allen wrote to the Congress of that province
for supplies of men and money to defend them. But the
whole matter was, at length, referred to the Continental
362 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Congress, which decided that New York should have the
charge of the forts, and authorized it to call upon New
177S - England for aid in their defence. The call was made upon
Connecticut, in answer to which Colonel Hinman, with a
thousand men, was sent to join Arnold. Allen's Green
Mountain Boys were by this time disbanded, as their term
of enlistment had expired. These war spirits, Arnold and
Allen, had urged upon the Continental Congress to fur-
nish them means to invade Canada. Allen, in company
with Seth Warner, went in person to that body for au-
thority to raise a new regiment. It was granted, and the
New York Congress was recommended to receive this
regiment of their ancient enemies into the regular army.
They were to choose their own leader. For some reason
Warner was chosen, and Allen entirely neglected; but
not to be baffled when a fight was on hand, he joined the
army as a volunteer. Arnold claimed the entire authority
at Ticonderoga, after the departure of Allen, and difficul-
ties arose between him and Hinman. A committee sent
from the Congress of Massachusetts to inquire into the
matter, decided that the command belonged to Hinman.
Arnold swore he would not be second, disbanded his men,
threw up his commission, and hurried to Cambridge.
Congress was, at first, opposed to the invasion of Can-
ada, and even thought of dismantling the forts on Lake
Champlain. Recent intelligence that the authorities of
that province were making preparations to recapture the
forts and to regain the command of the lake induced
them to determine upon its invasion in self-defence.
Schuyler learned that seven hundred of the king's troops
were in Canada; that Guy Johnson, with three hundred
tenants and Indians, was at Montreal; that St. John's
was fortified, and war-vessels were building there, and
almost ready to pass by the Sorel into the lake. Yet he
was encouraged by rumors that some of the inhabitants
were disaffected, and might be induced to join against
INVASION OF CANADA — RICHARD MONTGOMERY. 3Qf
the mother country; if so, the British would be deprived chap.
of a valuable recruiting station. Two expeditions against -
Canada were determined upon, one by way of Lake Cham- 177i -
plain, the other by the rivers Kennebec and Chaudiere.
The former under Schuyler; the latter was intrusted to
Arnold, who was in the camp chafed and disappointed,
but ready for any daring enterprise that promised dis-
Operations were to commence by way of the lake,
where were assembled the New York troops, and some
from New England. Schuyler was ably seconded by
Brigadier-general Richard Montgomery. Montgomery
was a native of Ireland; had, when a youth, been the
companion of Wolfe in the French war. He resigned
the British service, and remaining in America, settled in
New York, where he married. A man of education and
refinement, his generous sentiments led him to espouse
ardently the cause of popular rights.
General Schuyler passed from Ticonderoga down the
lake and took possession of the Isle aux Noix, in the Sorel
river. This position commanded the entrance into Lake
Champlain. He then made an attempt on St John's, Sept.
but finding it more strongly garrisoned than had been
represented, he retired to the Isle aux Noix, with the
intention of fortifying that important post, but severe
sickness compelled him to return to Albany. The com-
mand devolved upon Montgomery. Schuyler was soon
able to send him supplies and ammunition, and also
reinforcements under General Wooster.
Ethan Allen, as usual, without orders, went on one of
his rash expeditions. With only eighty-three men, he
attempted to take Montreal, was overpowered and taken « .
prisoner with his men. He himself was sent in irons to 24.
England to be tried as a rebel. Here closed the connec-
tion of this daring leader of the Green Mountain Boys
with the war of the Revolution. He was not tried, but
384 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
-jcxvni. liberated; then returned home, but from some dissatis-
faction took no further part in the struggle.
Montgomery sent a detachment which took Fort
Chambly, a few miles further down the river, thus placing
troops between St. John's and Canada. Sir Guy Carle-
ton, the governor of that province, made exertions, but
without success, to raise a force for the relief of St.
John's. But when on his way he was repulsed at the
passage of the St. Lawrence by Colonel Seth Warner; an-
other party going up the Sorel on the same errand was
3 V ' also driven back. The garrison at St. John's presently
surrendered, and immediately the energetic Montgomery
pushed on to Montreal, which submitted at the first sum-
mons, while Carle ton with a few followers fled down the
river to Quebec. This was a very seasonable capture for
the Americans, as it supplied them with woollen clothes,
of which necessaries they were in great need.
Montgomery made great exertions in the midst of dis-
couragements, arising from insubordination, desertions,
and the lateness of the season, to push on and join Arnold
Sept. before Quebec. Two months before this time that leader
had left the camp before Boston with eleven hundred men,
among whom were three companies of riflemen, under
Morgan, to pass up the Kennebec, and thence across the
wilderness to Quebec, there to unite with the force from
New York. Aaron Burr, then a youth of twenty, accom-
panied this expedition as a volunteer. It was a perilous
undertaking. The journey was one of intense suffering
and incessant toil. Six weeks they spent in dragging
their boats up the river, and carrying the baggage around
rapids; they cut their way through thickets and briars,
forded streams, climbed mountains, breasted storms, and
were so much in want of food that they devoured their
dogs, and even their moccasins. Their number was re-
duced to about six hundred effective men; one entire
division had returned home with the sick and disabled.
QUEBEC BESIEGED. 386
In a forlorn condition the remainder suddenly appeared ^^p
at Point Levi, opposite Quebec. The inhabitants were '■
astonished at the apparition, and could Arnold have 1775 -
crossed immediately, he might have taken the town; 9. '
but he was unable to do so for want of boats. In a few
days came Carle ton from Montreal; he put the town in
a state of defense, and increased his force to twelve
hundred men by enlisting traders, sailors, and others.
Although two armed vessels were on the watch, Ar-
nold managed to cross the St. Lawrence, clambered up
the Heights of Abraham by the same rugged path that
Wolfe had used, and boldly challenged the garrison to
battle. The contest was declined. It was useless for him
to attempt to besiege the town without cannon, so he
moved twenty miles up the river, where he met Mont-
gomery. The toilsome march through the wilderness
nearly stripped Arnold's men of their clothes; the wool-
lens obtained at Montreal were to them also an accept-
able protection against the rigors of a Canada winter.
Their united force amounted to only nine hundred
men. With these, Montgomery, who assumed the com-
mand, advanced to Quebec. The flag he sent to demand
a surrender was fired upon. A battery must be built;
the ordinary material was not at hand, but ingenuity sup-
plied its place. Gabions were filled with snow and ice,
over which water was poured, and a Canada winter soon
rendered them solid, but no ingenuity could render the
ice otherwise than brittle — every shot from the town
shattered it in pieces. It was now found that their
cannon were too small. They could not batter the walls,
and it was as fruitless to attempt to scale them. Some
other plan must be adopted.
It was determined to make a sudden attack on the
lower town. Montgomery, with one division, was to ad-
vance upon the south side, while Arnold was to make an
attempt upon the north. At the same time feint move-
386 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap ments were to be made against the upper town, and sig-
nal rockets fired from the different points to distract and
1775. divert the attention of the enemy. On the thirty-first of
31." December a blinding snow-storm favored their enterprise.
At two o'clock on the morning of that day they were on
the march. The feint that was to cover the movement of
Montgomery was successful. Undiscovered he descended
from the Heights of Abraham, passing safely around Cape
Diamond to the defile that led to the town. The pass, at
all times difficult, was now obstructed by ice and drifting
snow. It was defended by barriers guarded by Canadian
militia. Taken by surprise, they fled from the picket.
Montgomery passed the first barrier unopposed. As he
stepped beyond it, sanguine and exultant with hope, he
exclaimed: "Push on, my brave boys; Quebec is ours!"
Just then a single gun loaded with grape-shot was fired
from a battery; he fell, and by his side his aids and many
others who had answered to his cheering call. The sol-
diers, disheartened at the fall of their brave leader, were
willing to abandon the town, under the lead of -Quarter-
master Campbell, leaving the bodies of the slain Mont-
gomery, Cheeseman, and MacPherson where they fell.
By some neglect, no feint movement was made to
cover the march of Arnold. He was harassed by a flank-
ing fire as he pushed on to the entrance of the town. His
leg being shattered by a ball, he was unable to lead his
men against the battery. Morgan assumed the command,
and with his riflemen stormed it and captured the men.
At daylight he reached the second battery, which was also
carried; but now the forces of the British were concen-
trated at this point. Morgan's party made a brave resist-
ance, but were overpowered by numbers and compelled
to surrender. He himself was the last to submit. When
called upon by the British soldiers to deliver up his sword,
he refused, planted himself against a wall, and defied them
to take it. They threatened to shoot him; his men expos-
MORGAN AND HIS MEN PRISONERS. 381
tulated. At length he saw a man — a priest he knew him chap.
to be from his dress; to him he gave it, saying: "I will
give my sword to you, but not a scoundrel of those cow- 1775 -
ards shall take it out of my hands." The bravery of
Morgan and his men was appreciated by Carle ton; as
prisoners, they were treated with special kindness.
Arnold now retired about three miles up the river,
and there in a camp whose ramparts were formed of
frozen snow and of ice, he blockaded Quebec through
the winter. Here we leave him for the present.
Montgomery was at first buried at Quebec. When
nearly half a century had passed away, New York re-
membered her adopted son. She transferred his remains
to her metropolis, and with appropriate honors reinterred 181S.
them in St. Paul's church-yard.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
Meeting of Congress; alarming Evils require its Attention. — British
Cruisers. — Portland burned. — Efforts to defend the Coast. —
Congress acts with Energy. — Parliament resolves to crush the
Rebels. — Henry Knox. — Difficulties in the Army. — Provincial
Prejudices. — Success of the Privateers. — British Theatricals. —
The Union Flag. — Affairs in New York. — Rivington's Gazette. —
Governor Tryon. — General Lee in the City. — The Johnsons. —
Dunmore's Measures in Virginia; Norfolk burned. — Defeat of
North Carolina Tories. — Lee at the South. — Cannon and Powder
obtained. — Dorchester Heights fortified. — Boston Evacuated. —
Washington in New York. — British and German Troops in
Canada. — Numerous Disasters. — The Retreat from Canada. —
Horatio Gates. — A British Fleet before Fort Moultrie. — Gloomy
g|AJP- When the Continental Congress reassembled, delegates
■ from Georgia took their seats for the first time, and the
*£ 7 ^- style was assumed of The Thirteen United Colonies.
5. During the session a delegate from beyond the moun-
0ct * tains presented himself as the representative of the colony
of Transylvania, the germ of the present State of Ken-
tucky (settled by those bold pioneers, Boone, Harrod,
and Henderson), but the delegate of the fourteenth col-
ony was rejected on the ground that Virginia claimed
Alarming evils required the prompt attention of Con-
gress. The army was almost destitute of ammunition
and military stores; the coast, to a great extent, unpro-
tected; British cruisers hovered on the shores of New
England; demanded of the inhabitants supplies; burned
PORTLAND BURNED— PLANS OF DEFENCE. 389
and pillaged the towns. The notorious Captain Wallace cblap.
was stationed in Narragansett Bay; Stonington and Bris-
tol had been bombarded, and Newport was threatened HJ75.
with destruction. The British Admiral, Graves, it was 7.
said, had issued orders to burn all the rebel towns from
Halifax to Boston. This was no idle rumor. At Fal-
mouth, now Portland, in Maine, the destruction began.
This patriotic little town had, some time before, resolutely 18.
repulsed Lieutenant Mowatt of the British navy. One
evening he appeared with several vessels in the harbor,
prepared to mete out the punishment due for such rebel-
lion. He informed the inhabitants of his intention, and
allowed them two hours "to remove the human species
out of the town." A further respite until nine o'clock
next morning was with difficulty obtained. The people
removed during the night; then, by means of bombs
and carcasses, this flourishing village of three hundred
houses was laid in ashes. The other towns assumed a
posture of defence, and avoided a similar ruin.
The colonies separately took measures to defend their
coasts against such attacks. Already Maryland, Vir-
ginia, and South Carolina had appointed Naval Boards,
and equipped armed vessels. The British ships had been
driven from the harbor at Charleston; a powder-ship had
been captured by a South Carolina vessel. Washington
had sent cruisers into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Mas-
sachusetts Bay, to intercept supplies intended for the
enemy. One of these, the schooner Lee, commanded by
Captain Manly, deserves particular mention. She did
the country good service. Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
and Connecticut now equipped a few small vessels. Al-
though a few harbors were thus defended, the force that
protected the coast was still insufficient.
Congress applied themselves vigorously to remedy
these evils. They forwarded some of the powder seized
390 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, by the South Carolinians to the camp; appointed a secret
_^ — . committee to import it from the West Indies; took meas-
1775. ures t establish mills for its manufacture, and founderies
25. for the making of cannon. They licensed privateers, and
ordered gun-boats to be prepared for the defence of the
harbors; appointed a Naval Committee which was au-
thorized to build thirteen frigates; but, alas! want of
funds interfered sadly with the accomplishment of these
Dec. In this Naval Committee we recognize the germ of
13, the Navy Department. About this time a secret com-
mittee was authorized to open a private correspondence
with the friends of the cause in England, Ireland, and
elsewhere; this grew into the State Department. Thus
was the Continental Congress gradually laying the foun-
dation of the present government of the United States.
Parliament, in the meantime, took measures to crush
the "rebels;" enacted laws against them, cruel in the
extreme; gave orders to treat them in warfare not as
equals, but as criminals, who should be thankful to escape
the gallows. The ministry proclaimed all ships trading
to the colonies lawful prizes; and the crews of all cap-
tured colonial trading vessels virtually slaves; these were
doomed to serve in the royal navy as marines. Parlia-
ment also voted to increase their army in America to
forty thousand men — of this number twenty-five thou-
Nov. sand had yet to be raised. They could not be obtained
in Great Britain; men would not enlist. Lord Howe had
written to the ministry that Catholic Irish soldiers could
not be trusted, and suggested the employment of German
troops. Negotiations were accordingly commenced with
two of the little German principalities, Brunswick and
Hesse Cassel; and the English monarch hired seventeen
thousand Germans, or Hessians, to aid him in subduing
the descendants of Englishmen in America. In vain did
HINBT KNOX — COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS. 391
the best and most humane in Parliament oppose these gHA£-
measures. There was in England an honorable minority, --
who felt for the cause of the colonists. Burke and Barre 1775 -
stood firm; Conway and the Duke of Grafton resigned
their offices and joined the opposition; Lord Effingham
and the son of Pitt threw up their commissions in the
army rather than take part in the unnatural struggle.
The mercantile interests of the country, and especially
the Corporation of London, were opposed to the measures
of Parliament. Intelligence of them aroused the Amer-
icans to greater exertions, and deepened their hostility
to the mother country.
Since the battle of Bunker Hill, the armies in and
around Boston had been inactive — the British from
choice, the Americans from want of ammunition. Wash-
ington was anxious to be ready when the bay should be
frozen to pass over to the town on the ice. But he must
have powder and ordnance.
Henry Knox, a bookseller of Boston, had entered with
great zeal into the cause of his country. He had an in-
tuitive skill in the use of artillery , which he first displayed
on Bunker Hill, and afterward in planning the defences
of the camp. His aptness and energy attracted the atten-
tion of Washington. Knox proposed to go to Ticonde-
roga and Crown Point, and bring from those places the
cannon and powder that could be spared. Washington ap-
proved the suggestion, wrote to Schuyler at Albany to give
his assistance,and to Congress, recommending Knox as col-
onel of a regiment of artillery. Knox immediately set out.
Other difficulties surrounded the army. The soldiers
had enlisted but for one year, their terms would expire
before the first of January. In anticipation of this, a
committee of the Continental Congress, consisting of Doc-
tor Franklin, Colonel Harrison, of Virginia, and Thomas
Lynch, of Carolina, met at Cambridge, with committees
392 HISTOHT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, from the New England colonies, to reorganize the army,
! and to devise means to increase it to thirty-two thousand.
1775. The committees were in favor of an attack upon Bos-
ton as soon as practicable. Their plans were well laid,
but how could they be carried out? The soldiers were
unwilling to re-enlist; the zeal of the patriot army had
begun to flag; winter was coming on; they were ill-
fitted to endure its hardships; their fuel was scanty and
their clothing poor; their families needed their presence;
the attractions of home presented a delightful contrast
to the privations of a winter campaign. Their patriot-
ism was not extinct, but they were weary and discour-
aged. Says Washington, in a letter: "The desire of
retiring into a chimney-corner seized the troops as soon
as their terms expired.''
Those who were willing to re-enlist, would do so only
on certain conditions. They must know under what offi-
cers they were to be placed. Provincial prejudices had
their effect; the men of one colony hesitated to serve
with those of another, or under officers not of their own
choosing. It is pleasing to record one instance of high-
minded patriotism — doubtless there were many. Colonel
Asa Whitcombe, a worthy and experienced officer, was
not reappointed on account of his advanced age. His
men took offence, and refused to re-enlist. The colonel
set them an example by enlisting himself as a private
soldier. A younger officer immediately resigned the
command of his regiment that Whitcombe might be ap-
pointed, which was done.
On the first of December, some days before their
terms expired, a portion of the Connecticut troops be-
gan to return home; they were unwilling even to remain
in camp till their places could be supplied. Their arms
were retained at an assessed value.
In the midst of this gloom the privateers did good
service. The camp was thrown into ecstasies by the
DBSECBATIONf — THI UKXON PLAO. 3U6
arrival of a long train of wagons laden with military chap.
stores. The brave Captain Manly had captured off Cape —
Ann a brigantine laden with guns, mortars, and working 177 *«
tools, designed for the British army. Among the can-
non thus obtained was an immense mortar. This was
deemed so great a prize, that in the joy of the moment,
it was proposed to give it a name. "Old Putnam
mounted it, dashed on it a bottle of rum, and gave it
the name of Congress."
The blockade of the British was so stringent that they
began to suffer seriously for fuel and fresh provisions:
they could obtain none from the land side, while the
coast was closely watched. Abundant supplies were
sent from England, bub these were often wrecked or
captured. Some of the poorer houses were taken down
to supply fuel, and many of the poorer people sent out of
the town in order to lessen the demand for provisions.
To the grief of the patriot inhabitants, the Old South
Church, that time-honored and sacred edifice, was con-
verted into a riding-school for Burgoyne's light-horse, and
the pastor's library used to kindle fires. In retaliation,
the soldiers converted the Episcopal church at Cambridge
into barracks, and melted the leaden pipes of the organ
into bullets. The British officers beguiled their time by
getting up balls and theatricals. Among the plays per-
formed was one, written by General Burgoyne, carica-
turing the American army and its officers.
On the first of January the Union Flag was unfurled, 177&
for the first time, over the camp at Cambridge. It was
emblematic of the state of the country. The English
cross retained in one corner, intimated a still existing
relation with the mother country, while the thirteen
stripes of red and white that represented the thirteen
colonies, now united for self-government and resistance to
394 HISTORY OF THB AMEBIOUC PXOHUL
chap, oppression, were broadly significant of the New Republic
'- that was to grow out of this union.
1776. The y ear opened drearily for the patriots. There were
less than ten thousand men in the camp, among whom
were many undisciplined recruits, and many without arms.
The people were impatient — why not capture or drive
the enemy out of Boston? they asked on all sides. The
situation of Washington was painful in the extreme : he
could not publish his reasons, lest the enemy should learn
his weakness. Under these circumstances he writes thus
to a confidential friend: " We are now left with a good
deal less than half -raised regiments and about five thou-
sand militia. * * * If I shall be able to rise superior to
these and many other difficulties, which might be enu-
merated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger
of Providence is in it, to blind the eyes of our enemies."
About this time ships commanded by Sir Henry Clin-
ton left the harbor of Boston on a secret expedition. It
was justly surmised that he was bound for New York.
We turn once more to the state of affairs in that province.
As has been said, much of the wealth and influence
of New York was on the side of the Tories. Richmond
and Queen's counties had refused to send delegates to the
Provincial Congress. Governor Try on, who had retired
to a British man-of-war in the harbor, kept up a corre-
spondence with the friends of the royal cause in the city.
There was published the most influential Tory journal in
the country, "Rivington's Gazette" — "a thorn in the
side of the patriots." Many who were opposed to this
journal were unwilling to adopt violent measures; the
committee of safety refused to interfere with it. Colonel
Isaac Sears, one of the boldest and most energetic of the
New York Sons of Liberty, collected, in Connecticut,
about a hundred horsemen, dashed into the city, broke
the press and carried away the types to New Haven.
GENERAL LEE IN NEW YORK. 305
The possession of New York, as it was "the key to §£££
the whole continent, a passage to Canada, to the great
Lakes, and to all the Indian nations," was all-important 1776#
to the patriots. It was determined to place troops there.
Sears, seconded by the authority of Governor Trumbull,
proceeded to form regiments in Connecticut. Washington
ordered General Charles Lee to take command of these
regiments and proceed with them to New York, put that
city in a state of defence, call in aid from New Jersey to
disarm the Tories on Long Island and elsewhere — duties
which Lee proceeded forthwith to perform. Governor
Tryon threatened to bombard the city if he entered it
with the Connecticut troops. The people were greatly
alarmed. The provincial Congress requested Lee not to
advance for the present. He was determined to push on
with a sufficient number of troops to secure the city, and
threatened in his turn, "if they make a pretext of my
presence to fire on the town, the first house set on flames
by their guns shall be the funeral-pile of some of their
best friends." He entered the city on Sunday, February Yeh t
fourth, and encamped on the spot where the City Hall 4 -
now stands, then a suburb known as "The Fields."
The threats and counter- threats had wrought up the
feelings of the people to a state of intense excitement.
During the day this was greatly increased; cannon were
heard from the Narrows. Sir Henry Clinton was entering
the harbor. Many of the inhabitants hastened from the
city; on the afternoon of that Sabbath day Kingsbridge
was thronged with people and wagons on their way to the
country. But these fears were soon relieved. Clinton
gave notice that he came merely to a pay a visit to his
" friend Tryon." He remained but a short time, then
sailed away to North Carolina. His mysterious expedition
and his " whimsical civility" to his " friend Tryon "gave
rise to much speculation; though, as he had but few
troops, his movements had, as yet, created but little
996 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, alarm. Lee now proceeded to put the city in a state of
Serious difficulties threatened the interior of the prov-
ince. Guy Johnson had retired to Canada; Sir John
Johnson had fortified his "Hall," and gathered about him
his Highlanders and Mohawks. Schuyler proceeded to
Jan. disarm and disband this dangerous company. Sir John
gave his parole not to take up arms against America.
A few months afterward he was suspected of breaking
his word; to avoid arrest, he fled to Canada, where he
received a colonel's commission, and organized the regi-
ments called the " Royal Greens," afterward so renowned
for deeds of cruelty.
During this winter Governor Dunmore, of Virginia,
who, like Tryon, had taken refuge in one of the king's
June, ships, had been engaged in intrigues against the colonists.
Dec. He sent a vessel to Boston with supplies which, however,
was captured. In a letter found on board he had invited
General Howe to transfer the seat of war to the South;
he also landed at Norfolk, carried off a printing press,
published a proclamation that promised freedom to the
slaves or indented white servants of the patriots who
would join his cause. With a force thus collected he took
possession of the town. Fugitive slaves and others began
to flock to his banner. Virginia raised new regiments to
dislodge him and oppose strong movements that were
j^ making in his favor. The second regiment, under Wood-
1776. ford, took possession of the narrow neck which connects
Norfolk with the mainland, and compelled Dunmore to
re-embark. Soon after he returned, bombarded the town,
and landed a party who burned a portion of it to the
ground. The patriots burned the remainder lest it should
afford shelter to its enemies. Thus perished the principal
shipping port of Virginia, her largest and richest town.
TOBIES DEFEATED— CHARLESTON THBSATSXED. 397
The British were secretly planning an invasion of the §^£-
South. Governor Martin, of North Carolina, who, like
many of the royal governors of that day, carried on opera- 1776 -
tions from on board a ship, was stirring up the Tories of
that province, many of whom were Highlanders. He
hoped to gather a land force to co-operate with Sir Peter
Parker, who was on his way from Ireland with a fleet of
ten ships, on board of which were seven regiments. The
movements of Sir Henry Clinton could now be accounted
for. He had left Boston to take command of the land forces
in this intended invasion: he stopped to confer on the sub-
ject with Try on, who had been governor of North Carolina.
Martin had commissioned two prominent Scotchmen,
McDonald and McLeod — both recent emigrants, and offi-
cers of the British army. General McDonald enlisted
some fifteen hundred men and marched for the coast, but
the North Carolina patriots were on the alert. He was
intercepted at Moore's Creek Bridge, sixteen miles from Feb.
Wilmington. Colonel McLeod was killed; McDonald
and eight hundred and fifty loyalists were taken pris-
oners. He and his officers were sent away to the north.
This defeat, which at the first glance may appear of
little consequence, was important in its bearing; it inter-
fered for a time with the plans of Clinton and Martin.
This delay was most valuable to the patriots; they had
time to collect forces and mature plans for defence. Gen-
eral Lee was appointed by Congress to take command of
the southern army and to watch Clinton, who was hover-
ing on the coast in expectation of the British squadron.
After long delays it arrived at the mouth of Cape Fear May
River. Congress learned from intercepted letters that
Charleston was to be attacked. There, at the first alarm,
six thousand men from Virginia and the Carolinas had
assembled. The indefatigable Lee reached the city just
as Clinton appeared in the harbor. Had the enemy at-
tacked that place at once they might have taken it with
398 HISTORY OF TILE AMERICAN PEOPiS.
chap. ease. It was, wrote Lee, " perfectly defenceless." The
-1 opportunity was not improved, and both parties began
i 776 - to fortify and prepare for a contest. Here we leave them
4. for the present, and return to the camp before Boston.
During the month of January there was little im-
provement in the state of the army. On the tenth of
February Washington writes: " Without men, without
arms, without ammunition, little is to be done." The
patriots had looked hopefully toward Canada, only to be
disappointed. Montgomery had fallen; Morgan and his
brave band were prisoners; the remnant of the shattered
forces that lingered with Arnold in his icy fortress before
the walls of Quebec, could accomplish nothing. The
whole line of the Atlantic coast was threatened; and in
view of these circumstances Washington was anxious to
strike a decisive blow that should encourage the despond-
ing and revive popular enthusiasm. In truth, the state
of public feeling demanded such a course. Congress had
D ec . authorized him to push the attack upon Boston to the
1775. destruction of the town, should it be necessary. John
Hancock, who had large possessions there, said: "Do it,
and may God crown your attempt with success." When
the bay became frozen Washington was impatient to cross
over on the ice; again and again he proposed an attack,
but a council of war as often decided that the force was
still too weak, the ammunition too scant. Meanwhile,
Putnam was actively engaged in constructing works on
the neighboring heights. Many of the labors conducted
by the brave old general had to be attended to in the night-
time to avoid the fire from the enemy's ships. Toward
spring affairs began to wear a brighter aspect. Ten new
regiments of militia were enlisted; the great want that par-
alyzed every effort — powder — was supplied from various
quarters; some was obtained from New York, some from
Bermuda; the Connecticut mills were also in operation.
DOfiCHESTER H1IGHTS TO B» FOSTIFIKD. 399
Now, to the great joy of the camp, Knox returned with chap.
his long train of sledges laden with ammunition, and can- -
non of various kinds. With the joy was mingled admira- 1776 -
tion for the energy displayed. He had travelled more
than four hundred miles over frozen streams and through
a wilderness obstructed by the snows of winter. The dull
monotony of inaction gave way to bustle and excitement.
All was now ready for active operations. The heights
that commanded the town must be seized and fortified.
Putnam had already fortified Lechmere Point, on the
north; there he had mounted his famous "Congress:"
that point had only to be supplied with more large can-
non and with powder. Now the main object was to
secure Dorchester Heights, which commanded the town
on the south, and also the harbor. This would compel
the enemy to leave the town or bring on a general en-
gagement: plans were laid accordingly.
To divert the attention of the enemy while prepara-
tions were in progress, Boston was to be bombarded and
cannonaded from different points. Should the Ameri-
cans attain the heights, and the enemy attempt to dis-
lodge them, Putnam, with four thousand picked men,
was prepared to cross Charles river and attack the north
part of the town.
Washington, deeply impressed with the importance of
the coming struggle, issued orders forbidding "all playing
at cards or other games of chance," adding, " In this time
of public distress, men may find enough to do in the ser-
vice of God and their country, without abandoning them-
selves to vice and immorality." He also warned the
troops, " If any man in action shall presume to skulk, hide
himself, or retreat from the enemy without orders, he
will be instantly shot down as an example of cowardice."
The fourth of March was fixed upon for the enterprise. Mat.
On the evening of that day, the detachment under Gen-
eral Thomas, designed to occupy the heights, moved as
400 HISTORY OF THE JLMEBICAN PSOPLI.
<gAT- quietly as possible. In the advance were eight hundred
. men; then came the carts with the intrenching tools;
1776 - then twelve hundred more men, and in the rear were three
hundred wagons laden with bales of hay and bundles of
fagots to be used in making the breastwork. They reached
the heights about eight o'clock; amid the roar of artillery
— for the enemy were returning the fire directed against
them with great spirit — the noise of the wagons and the
necessary bustle of the movement had been unheard.
Though the earth was frozen eighteen inches deep, they
threw up an embankment and used their hay and other
material to great advantage. During that night of labor,
the commander-in-chief was drawn by his interest to the
spot. In the morning the fortification appeared very
formidable. General Howe, as he examined it through
the mist, exclaimed: "The rebels have done more work
in one night than my whole army would have done in a
month." The patriots, at this crisis, watched the move-
ments of the enemy with intense interest. A cannonade
was opened upon the heights, but without much effect.
Howe did not attempt to storm the works. A night
attack was resolved upon, but a furious storm arose, the
ships of war could render no service, nor could the boats
land in the heavy surf. Before the storm was over the
Americans were too strong to be assaulted. A council of
war advised Howe to evacuate the town, as both it and
the shipping were exposed to a destructive bombard-
ment. To insure the safety of his army during the em-
barkation, Howe appealed to the fears of the inhabitants;
he intimated he would burn the town if his troops were
fired upon. A deputation of citizens made this known,
in an informal manner to Washington, and the British
were suffered to depart unmolested.
Eleven days were employed in the embarkation. About
fifteen hundred loyalists made ready to leave with the
departing army; thus was the good city of Boston purged
WASHINGTON IN NEW YOBK. 401
of its Tory population. Authorized by Howe, the British chap.
demanded of the inhabitants all the linen and woollen
goods ; salt, molasses, and o ther necessaries were destroyed. 1776 -
Crean Brush, a New York Tory, who was commissioned
to take charge of the goods that were seized, took ad-
vantage of his authority and broke open and pillaged
stores and private houses, as did some of the soldiers.
The embarkation was hastened, at the last, by a false
alarm that the Americans were about to assault the town.
On the next Monday, March eighteenth, Washington j^
entered the city. He was received with joy by the re- 18 -
maining inhabitants. After a siege of ten months Bos-
ton was again free; above it waved the Union flag of
thirteen stripes. The British fleet, consisting of one
hundred and fifty vessels, lay for some days in Nantasket
roads, and then bore away. Washington feared its des-
tination was New York. As soon as possible he hastened
thither with the main body of the army. Five regiments
remained at Boston with General Ward. Soon afterward
he resigned, but served the cause in the Massachusetts
council and in Congress.
The land rejoiced greatly at this success. On motion
of John Adams, Congress gave Washington a unanimous
vote of thanks, and ordered a gold medal to be struck
in commemoration of the event.
The expenses of the war were so great that just before ^L b#
this Congress had been obliged to issue four additional
millions of continental paper. A financial committee had
been appointed, and now an auditor-general and assist- April
ants were to act under this committee; this assumed the
form of a Treasury Department. Two months later Con-
gress established a War Office, and appointed a committee
of five members to superintend its operations. To act
as chairman of this committee, John Adams resigned the
office of chief justice of Massachusetts.
402 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Washington reached New York on the thirteenth of
. April; there he found much to be done. The Heights
1776. f Long Island, Kingsbridge, the main avenue from the
city by land, were at best but imperfectly guarded, and
many prominent points on the river and Sound were
Governor Tryon and the British ships in the harbor
were in constant communication with the Tories in the
city. To guard against these dangers, external and inter-
nal, Washington had but eight thousand effective men.
General Greene was sent with one division to fortify what
is now Brooklyn Heights, on Long Island, as they com-
manded New York. He was also to make himself familiar
with the surrounding country. Urged by the commander-
in-chief, the committee of safety were induced to prohibit
all intercourse with Governor Tryon. Any such inter-
course, if discovered, was to be severely punished. But
Tryon, aided by spies and agents, continued his efforts
in the king's cause. A conspiracy, to which he had insti-
gated the Tories, was fortunately discovered. Some of
these may have been true loyalists, but there were others
basely won by the promise of reward. In low taverns
and drinking-saloons the patriot soldiers were tampered
with. The mayor of the city was arrested, as well as
some of Washington's body-guard, charged with be-
ing concerned in the plot. One of the guard, Thomas
Hickey, a deserter from the British army, was hanged,
"for mutiny, sedition, and treachery." This example
J ^ e alarmed the Tories, and we hear of no more plots.
For the first time Washington learned of the measures
*fj7 of the British Parliament. The hired Hessian and Ger-
man troops were landing in Canada. New apprehensions
were awakened for the army in that province. Great
efforts were made to reinforce it; regiments were sent
under Sullivan and Thompson. Early in the spring Gen-
AMERICAN TROOPS DRIVEN OUT OF CANADA. 403
eral Wooster had joined Arnold and taken the command chap.
at Quebec. But it was not easy for Arnold to act in con- .
cert with a superior officer; as usual, he had difficulty 1776 -
with Wooster and retired to Montreal. Soon after Woos-
ter was recalled, and Thomas, now a major-general, was
appointed to the northern army. General Carleton was
strongly reinforced, and Thomas was compelled to make
a hasty retreat from before Quebec — so hasty that the
baggage, the artillery, and even the sick were left behind.
The noble humanity of Carleton deserves to be recorded.
He sought out the sick, many of whom had hid from him
in terror, conveyed them to the general hospitals, and
promised that on their recovery they should be permitted
to return home. Thomas hastened to the Sorel where, on June,
the second of June, he died of the small-pox, which pre-
vailed greatly in the army. Though the army once more
changed its commander, there was no change in its pros-
pects; they continued to be of the gloomiest character.
Carleton came pressing on with a force of thirteen thou-
sand men. General Thompson, with a portion of the
American troops, was defeated at Three Rivers; and he,
with his officers and many of his men, were taken prison-
ers. Those who escaped joined Sullivan on the Sorel.
Arnold had been equally unfortunate at Montreal.
He stationed a detachment of four hundred men at a
point called The Cedars, about forty miles above that
place, in order to intercept the stores sent to the enemy.
As this post was threatened with an attack, it was shame-
fully surrendered by Colonel Butterworth without a blow.
A reinforcement sent to their aid was also taken pris-
oners. Arnold now joined Sullivan. A council of war
decided upon a retreat, and the wreck of the army passed
out of Canada, followed by a strong British force.
The army was in a deplorable condition when it reached
Crown Point. To use the words of John Adams, it was
" defeated, discontented, dispirited, diseased, no clothes,
404 HISTORY 09 TH3 AMERICAN PEOPLE.
c&AP. beds, blankets, nor medicines; no victuals but salt pork
and flour." Thus ended this invasion, famous for its
1776 - daring exploits and numerous disasters.
Congress approved of Sullivan's prudent retreat; they
did not, however, confirm him in the authority that had
devolved upon him on the death of General Thomas.
They appointed Major-general Gates to the command,
and awarded Sullivan a vote of thanks — an honor as un-
satisfactory to him as it was empty in itself. Sullivan
was deeply wounded, as was General Schuyler, for Gates
claimed the command, not only of the forces on Lake
Champlain, but of the whole northern army.
Horatio Gates, like Lee, was of foreign birth; like
him, he was a disappointed man. Of his very early life
little is known. He served in America under Braddock,
in the West Indies under Monckton; but as he did not
receive from his native England the honors which he
thought his due, he sold his commission in the British
army and retired to Virginia, where he renewed his ac-
quaintance with Washington, and with his former asso-
ciate, General Lee. Gates was ambitious, and the revo-
lution opened a path to distinction. As an office-seeker
he had, it is said, learned to "flatter and accommodate
himself to the humors of others." He could be " the boon
companion of gentlemen, and 'hail fellow well met' with
the vulgar." He ingratiated himself with the New Eng-
enders, with whom, for some reason, Schuyler was un-
popular. Through their influence, it is thought, Gates
obtained what he aimed at — promotion. The enemies of
Schuyler advanced serious charges against him; attribu-
ted to him the failure of the Canada expedition, and even
hinted at treason. There is an instinct common to noble
minds by which they discern truth in others. Washington
never doubted the integrity of Schuyler, nor did Congress
sustain Gates in his claim to supersede him. The ap-
BRITISH FLEET BEFORE FORT MOULTRIE. 405
pointment of the latter, they said, referred only to the chap.
forces while in Canada; elsewhere he was subordinate .
to Schuyler. The difficulty was passed over, as the 1776 »
result of a mistake, and the rival commanders assumed
the appearance of satisfaction.
We now return to Charleston, where we left both par-
ties preparing for a contest. On the fate of Sullivan's
Island, the key to the harbor, the result seemed to depend.
One party was making ready to attack, the other to de-
fend it. On the south-west point of this island was a fort
commanded by Colonel William Moultrie. Fort Moultrie
was constructed of logs of palmetto, a wood soft and
spongy; cannon-balls could not splinter it. Lee, not
familiar with the palmetto, thought it madness to attempt
to defend so fragile a fort; he contemptuously styled it
the " Slaughter-pen." This important post was threat-
ened by sea and land. Before it lay the British fleet
under Sir Peter Parker. Sir Henry Clinton, with two
thousand men, had taken possession of Long Island,
which lay to the east of Sullivan's Island, and was sep-
arated from it only by a narrow creek. Here he was
erecting batteries to cover his passage across the creek,
to assault the fort when the fire of the ships should make
a breach. To oppose him the Americans stationed a force
under Colonel Thompson on the opposite side of the
creek. Lee took his position on a point of the mainland
north of the island, where he stood ready at any moment
to aid either Thompson or Moultrie.
The strength of the fort was now to be tested. On
the twenty-eighth of June the formidable fleet of Parker J ^? e
advanced and commenced a "most furious fire," which
was returned with great spirit. The firing had but little
effect upon the low wooden fort, while the ships of the
enemy were almost torn in pieces. In the midst of the
terrific roar of artillery the Americans stood bravely to
406 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, their guns; some of them remained at their posts even
after they had lost a limb. For ten hours the battle
1776. ra g e d without intermission. Then Sir Peter drew off his
ships. Among the slain was Lord Campbell, ex-governor
of the province, who fought as a volunteer on board the
Sir Henry Clinton made repeated attempts to reach
Sullivan's Island, but was as often foiled by the batteries
of Thompson. Several of the ships ran aground; one,
the Acteon, was set on fire with her guns loaded and colors
flying, and then abandoned. The Americans, determined
to secure a trophy, boarded the burning vessel, fired her
guns at the retreating enemy, took possession of her colors,
loaded three boats with stores, and departed in safety,
before she blew up. Among the many heroic incidents
connected with this battle, one is related of Sergeant Jas-
per. The flag-staff was cut by a ball, and the flag fell
outside the fort. Jasper immediately leaped down and,
amid the "iron hail," picked up the flag, tied it to a pole,
deliberately placed it on the parapet, and then returned
to his companions at the guns. Governor Rutledge appre-
ciated the heroic deed; a few days after he presented his
own sword to Jasper and offered him a lieutenant's com-
mission. He accepted the sword, but modestly declined pro-
motion on the ground that he could neither read nor write.
June On the very day that this battle took place at the
2&* South, a British fleet of forty vessels entered the harbor
of New York. On board was General Howe, and with
him the late garrison of Boston. Since the evacuation of
that place he had been at Halifax awaiting the arrival of
his brother, Admiral Howe. He landed his forces on
Staten Island, where he was received with demonstrations
of joy by the Tories. Clouds of deeper darkness were
gathering around New York. The Admiral with more
forces might be expected at any moment; the crisis so
long dreaded was at hand. The American soldiers were
A CRISIS AT HAND. 407
ordered to be each day at their alarm posts, and to be in chap.
readiness for instant action. Orders to the same effect .
were sent up the river. Rumors of disaffection in that 1776 -
quarter added the fear of treachery to the general alarm.
Such was the state of things — the northern army de-
feated and broken, the fleet of Sir Henry Clinton on its
way from the South, Admiral Howe on his way from
England, the harbor of New York filled with the enemy's
ships, — when an event took place, most important in
American history. The colonies declared themselves in-
dependent of all foreign authority, and took their place
among the nations of the earth.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
The Question of Independence; Influences in favor of. — The Tories.
— "Common Sense." — The Declaration; its Reception by the
People and Army. — Arrival of Admiral Howe. — His Overtures
for Reconciliation. — The American Army; its Composition. —
Sectional Jealousies. — The Forts on the Hudson. — The Clin-
tons. — Battle of Long Island. — The Masterly Retreat. — Inci-
dents. — Camp on Harlem Heights. — Howe confers with a
Committee of Congress. — Nathan Hale. — The British at Kipp's
Bay. — New York evacuated. — Conflict at White Plains. — The
Retreat across New Jersey. — Waywardness of Lee.
chap. The alienation between the colonies and the mother coun-
. 1 try began at the close of the French war. It was not the
1776. result of any one cause, but of many; the change of feel-
ing was not instantaneous, but gradual. As the struggle
took a more decided form, many, who were determined in
their resistance to oppression, were unwilling to cast off
their allegiance to the land to which their fathers still
gave the endearing name of "home." There were, how-
ever, among the true Sons of Liberty a few who had seen
the end from the beginning. Such men as Samuel Adams
and Patrick Henry foresaw the haughty obstinacy of the
British ministry, and foretold the result. "Independent
we are and independent we will be," said Adams; and
Henry exclaimed, in the Virginia Assembly: "We must
fight. An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all
that is left us!"
What had long been felt by the few now flashed upon
THE QUESTION OF INDEPENDENCE. 409
the minds of the many, that they could never enjoy chap.
their rights but as a self-governing nation. Would the 1
oppressions of the home government justify separation, 1776 -
which would involve all the horrors of a protracted and
doubtful war? This question became the subject of
discussion in the Provincial Assemblies and among the
It was not arbitrary and unjust laws alone, nor the
refusal of political rights, that had estranged the American
people. Religious views had their influence in moulding
public sentiment in favor of independence. Long-con-
tinued and persistent efforts to establish the Episcopal
church in New England, had roused the latent hostility
of theCongregationalists — they would not submit to Eng-
lish control in matters of religion. The Presbyterians of
the middle and southern colonies, derived, as they were,
from the dissenting Scottish church, had a traditionary
feeling of opposition to the same influence. Both pastors
and people were stanch Whigs and went hand in hand
with the ministers and people of New England. Even in
Virginia, where the Episcopal church was established by
law, and where the majority of the people were its advo-
cates, the attempt to place over them a bishop was de-
nounced by the House of Burgesses as a "pernicious pro-
ject." Though strenuous churchmen, they were jealous
of external influences, and repudiated the control of the
mother church. On the contrary, the Episcopal clergy,
great numbers of whom were Englishmen by birth, from
their associations were inclined to favor the royal author-
ity. Nor should we judge them harshly; they acted in
accordance with their views of the intimate connection of
church and state. These views influenced the members
of that church more in the northern than in the southern
colonies, and great numbers of them faithfully adhered to
the "Lord's anointed," as they termed the king.
The peace-loving Quakers, numerous in Pennsylvania,
4,10 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. New Jersey, and Delaware opposed war as wrong in it-
self. The Moravians held similar views. These grieved
1776. over th e violation of their rights, yet they hoped by
pacific measures to obtain justice.
There were others who, though not opposed to war,
believed it to be wrong to rise in opposition to the rule of
the mother country. There were also the timid, who
deemed it madness to resist a power so colossal. There
were the low and grovelling, who sought only an oppor-
tunity to plunder; the time-serving and the avaricious,
who, for the gain they might acquire as contractors for
the British army, or by furnishing provisions for pris-
oners, joined the enemies of their country.
The evacuation of Boston strengthened the already
strong feeling in favor of independence so prevalent in
New England. In the south the recent risings of the
Tories in North Carolina, the ravages of Dunmore in Vir-
ginia, and the attack upon Charleston, served still more
to alienate the affections of the people; while their suc-
cess in repelling the invasion gave them assurance. For
many reasons they wished to be independent. Then they
could form treaties with other nations, and the brand of
rebel, so repugnant to an honorable mind, would be re-
moved. In truth, Congress had already taken the ground
of an independent government by offering free trade to
other nations, in all merchandise except that of British
manufacture and slaves — the latter traffic they had pro-
hibited some months before.
About the first of the year a pamphlet was issued in
Philadelphia under the title of " Common Sense," which
had a great influence upon the public mind. Its author,
Thomas Paine, an Englishman, had been in the country
but a few months. In a style adapted to convince the
popular mind he exposed the folly of delaying any longer
a formal separation from the mother country. The pam-
phlet had a very great circulation, and a proportionate
THE COMMITTEE. 411
influence in deciding the timid and wavering in favor of &*£*•
On the seventh of June Richard Henry Lee intro-
duced a resolution into Congress, declaring, "That the
United Colonies are and ought to be free and independent
States, and that their political connection with Great
Britain is and ought to be dissolved. ' ' Upon this resolution
sprang up an animated discussion. It was opposed, prin-
cipally, on the ground that it was premature. Some of
the best and strongest advocates of colonial rights spoke
and voted against the motion, which passed only by a
bare majority of seven States to six. Some of the dele-
gates had not received instructions from their constitu-
ents on the subject, and others were instructed to vote
against it. Its consideration was prudently deferred until
there was a prospect of greater unanimity. Accordingly,
on the eleventh a committee, consisting of Doctor Frank-
lin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Roger
Sherman, of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston, of
New York, was appointed to prepare a Declaration. To
give opportunity for union of opinion, the consideration
of the subject was postponed to the first of July. At the
same time two other committees were appointed; one
to draw up a plan for uniting all the colonies, the other
to devise measures to form foreign alliances.
On the twenty-eighth the committee reported the dec- June.
laration to the house. It was drawn by Jefferson, and
contained a gracefully written summary of the sentiments
of the people and Congress. After a few verbal altera-
tions suggested by Adams and Franklin, it was approved
by the committee. The house, however, struck out a few
passages. One of these reflected severely upon the British
government; another denounced the slave-trade; another
censured the king for his attempts to prevent, by the re-
fusal of his signature, the enactment of laws designed to
412 HISTORY OP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxx; prohibit that traffic. They were unwilling to offend the
friends of the colonies in Britain, and feared lest these
1776# strong expressions might prevent the declaration from
receiving a unanimous vote. The vote was taken by
States; the delegates were not unanimous, but there were
a sufficient number to give the vote of all the colonies,
New York alone excepted, which was given in a few days.
The announcement was delayed till the declaration should
_ . receive a few amendments, and then, on July the fourth,
4. it was formally adopted, and the thirteen colonies became
The Thirteen United States of America.
The bell of the State House, in which Congress held
its sessions, has upon it the inscription: " Proclaim lib-
erty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants
thereof" — words taken from the Bible. Congress sat with
closed doors, but it was known far and wide that the
subject of independence was under discussion. Crowds
assembled outside the Hall, and waited anxiously to
learn the result. At mid-day the appointed signal was
given. The bell was struck, and to its tones responded
the joyous shouts of multitudes. The friends of liberty
and independence breathed more freely; the declara-
tion was made; the hesitancy of indecision was over,
and the spirit of determination arose. It was published;
it was read to the army; the soldiers received it with
shouts of exultation and pledges to defend its princi-
ples; it was announced in the papers; from the pulpits,
and everywhere the Whigs hailed it with joy. Hopes of
reconciliation, which had so much paralyzed measures of
defence were at an end; there was now no neutral ground.
The timid though honest friends of their country, who had
so long hesitated, generally sided with liberty. The Tories
were in a sad condition; the great majority of them were
wealthy, and had hoped that the difficulties would yet be
arranged. Laws passed by the new State authorities had
rendered them liable to fines and imprisonments, and their
ARRIVAL OF ADMIRAL HOWE — HIS CIRCULAR. 41ft
property to confiscation. They endured many outrages, chap.
and were subjected to "tarrings and featherings" innu- - — 1
merable by self-constituted vigilance committees. Con- 1776 -
gress, to prevent these outrages, gave the supervision of
Tories to committees of inspection. The most obnoxious
were fain to emigrate, and the committee admonished or
restrained the others within certain limits.
The soldiers in New York manifested their zeal by
taking a leaden statue of King George, which stood in the
Bowling Green, and running it into bullets, to be used in
the cause of independence. To impress upon their minds
a sense of the dignity of their position, as well as to re-
prove this irregularity, Washington, in the orders, the fol-
lowing day, referred to the subject. "The general hopes
and trusts," said he, "that every officer and soldier will
endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier
defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.' 1
A few days after the public Declaration of Independ-
ence, the booming of cannon from the British vessels in
the harbor of New York announced the arrival of Ad-
miral Howe. To his brother and himself had been com-
mitted the general control of American affairs.
Before he proceeded to hostilities, the admiral ad-
dressed a circular to the people; he offered them pardon
if they would cease to be rebels, lay down their arms, and
trust the king's mercy. As soon as this circular reached
Congress that body caused it to be published in all the
newspapers that the people might see that Britain would
grant nothing and accept no concession short of absolute
submission. " They must fight or be slaves."
Howe also attempted to open a correspondence with
Washington. As Parliament refused to acknowledge
titles conferred by Congress, his letters were addressed
first to Mr. George Washington, then to George Wash-
ington, Esquire, &c, &c, hoping that the &c.'s would re-
414 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, move the difficulty; but the Commander-in-chief, justly
tenacious of the dignity of his office, and of the honor of
1776. h^ country, politely but firmly refused to receive them.
The messenger expressed his regret that the correspond-
ence could not be opened. His lordship, he said, wished
for peace; he was vested with great powers. Washington
replied that he understood Lord Howe had power to grant
pardons; the Americans had defended their rights; they
had committed no crime and needed no pardon.
The Admiral was disappointed; he really desired
peace. The reception he had met with had encouraged
his hopes; he had received loyal addresses from the Tories
of New Jersey, Long and Staten Islands; Governor Try on
had assured him there were many others, secret friends
of England, who might be induced to join him. But,
to his surprise, his circular, from which he had hoped
much, produced little or no effect. He was now con-
vinced that nothing could be accomplished except by
force of arms. Meanwhile his army, now on Staten Isl-
and, received many accessions; Sir Henry Clinton had
arrived, and more Hessian troops had landed. His whole
force was about thirty-five thousand.
As it had become more and more evident that New
York was to be the theatre of the war, further prepara-
tions had been made to defend the city and neighborhood.
Pennsylvania had sent four continental regiments, com-
manded respectively by Colonels St. Clair, Shee, Anthony
Wayne, and Magaw; three provincial battalions, under
Colonels Miles, Cadwallader, and Atlee, and rifle regi-
ments under Colonels Hand and Allen. These were all
commanded by Brigadier-general Mifflin, of that State.
Virginia sent troops under Major Leitch, and from
Maryland came the brave company known as Smallwood's
regiment, who afterward distinguished themselves in
many conflicts, while from Delaware came a regiment un-
der Colonel Hazlet. In addition to these, Pennsylvania,
JEALOUSIES AMONG THE TROOPS. 415
Maryland, and Delaware furnished troops to form what chap.
was called "a flying camp," a sort of reserve, stationed 1
in New Jersey, in a favorable position, and ready to act 1776 -
in emergencies. This was under Brigadier-general Mercer.
In the troops thus drawn together from different parts
of the country there were marked differences in appear-
ance and discipline. The New England officers were most
of them farmers and mechanics — brave, honorable, but
plain men. Their soldiers were men of the same stamp;
in many cases their intimates and associates in private
life. Their intercourse with each other was less formal
than was consistent with strict military discipline. They
met not as mere soldiers, but as a band of brethren, united
in a cause in which each had a personal interest. With
the portion of the army drawn from the other States, the
case was different; with them there was a marked dis-
tinction between the officers and soldiers. The officers
were brave and honorable also, but city bred — " gen-
tlemen/' as they called themselves — and from wealthy
families, while the "common soldiers, for the most part,
were a very inferior set." Sectional jealousies arose. The
Mary landers, in " scarlet and buff," looked down upon
the rustic soldiery in " homespun," while the officers of
the other provinces were inclined to despise their asso-
ciates from New England. These jealousies became so
great an evil that Washington strongly reprobated them
in general orders.
As the British were masters of the bay of New York,
it was feared they would surround the American army in
the city and take possession of the Hudson, that great
highway to the interior. To prevent this, General Mifflin
was sent with the Pennsylvania troops to guard the forts
at the north end of the island. One of these stood just
below, the other just above Kingsbridge, the only avenue
to the mainland; they were known as Forts Washington
and Independence. On the west side of the Hudson,
416 HISTORY OF THE AMERICA* PEOPLE.
^jcx nearly opposite Fort Washington, stood Fort Lee. Near
the entrance to the Highlands, and just opposite the
well-known promontory of Anthony's Nose, was Fort
Montgomery. Six miles higher up the river was Fort
The posts last named were under the command of
Colonel James Clinton. His brother George commanded
the militia of Ulster and Orange counties. These brothers
were of Irish descent, natives of New York, and their
ancestors were identified with the early settlements on
the Hudson. They had been soldiers from their youth —
like many of the Revolutionary officers — they had been
trained in the French war, in which one of them had
served as a captain at twenty, and the other as a lieuten-
ant at seventeen years of age. The elder, James, had
also served under Montgomery at the capture of Mon-
treal, while George had been active in the service of his
country as a member of the New York Legislature, and
as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
In spite of obstructions thrown across the channel, two
British vessels, the Phoenix and the Rose, passed up the
Hudson. The latter was commanded by the notorious
Captain Wallace, who had pillaged the shores of Rhode
Island. They passed the forts unharmed, and gallantly
returned the fire from Fort Washington. As they boldly
pushed their way up the river, their appearance created
great alarm. Signal guns were heard from the forts, and
July false rumors increased the general excitement. The sturdy
12, yeomanry left their harvests uncut in their fields and has-
tened to join the forces under Clinton to defend the passes
of the Highlands. These fears were in a great measure
groundless. The vessels quietly anchored here and there,
while their boats took soundings; but the event proved the
inefficiency of the defences at the mouth of the Hudson.
The Americans, from the Jersey shore and the city
THB BRITISH LAND ON LONG ISLAND. 417
continued to watch, with intense interest, the movements chap.
of the enemy on Staten Island. A spy reported that 1
they were about to land on Long Island, with twenty 1776 -
thousand men, and take possession of the Heights, which
commanded New York; he had heard the orders read,
and the conversation of the officers in the camp. The Aug.
next day the roar of artillery was heard from Long Isl- 22,
and, and soon the news reached the city that the enemy
had landed at Gravesend Bay.
General Greene had thrown up a line of intrenchments
and redoubts across the neck of the peninsula upon which
stood the village of Brooklyn. He had made himself ac-
quainted with the ground in the neighborhood, and nearly
completed his plans for defence, when he was suddenly
taken ill with a raging fever. He was still unable to be
at his post, and Sullivan held the temporary command.
Between the American intrenchments and Gravesend
Bay lay a range of thickly-wooded hills that stretched
across the island from south-west to north-east. Over
and around these hills were three roads: one along the
shore passed around their south-western base; another
crossed over their centre toward Flatbush; while a third,
which was near the north-east extremity of the range,
passed over them from the village of Bedford to Jamaica.
Nine thousand of the British had already landed at
Gravesend, under the command of Sir Henry Clinton and
his associates, the Earls of Cornwallis and Percy, and
Generals Grant and Erskine. Colonel Hand, who was
stationed there, retired on their approach to a position
that commanded the central or Flatbush road. The
British continued to land more forces secretly in the night
time, but for several days nothing occurred, except skir-
mishing between the enemy and the troops at the out-
posts, along the wooded hills.
At the first alarm the Commander-in-chief had hast-
ened to send to the aid of Sullivan a reinforcement of six
418 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxx battalions, — all he could well spare. He exhorted these
soldiers to be cool, and not to fire too soon. They ap-
peared in high spirits, though most of them were going
into battle for the first time.
Aug* On the twenty-fourth, Washington, somewhat relieved
from his apprehensions with regard to the city, crossed
over to Brooklyn to inspect the lines. He was pained to
observe a great want of system among the officers, and of
discipline among the soldiers. A strong red oub t had been
thrown up at the central pass, but the plans for defence
were imperfect and affairs in much confusion.
On his return he appointed General Putnam to the
command, with orders to remedy these evils. The "brave
old man " hastened with joy to the post of danger.
From day to day the number of tents on Staten Island
became gradually less, and one by one ships dropped
silently down to the narrows. Washington became con-
vinced that the British designed to attack the lines at
Brooklyn. He sent over further reinforcements, among
which was Haslet's Delaware regiment — troops whose sol-
dierly bearing and discipline had won his special regard.
He proceeded in person to aid Putnam with his coun-
sel. On the evening of the twenty-sixth he returned to
New York, perplexed and depressed, for a dark cloud
of uncertainty and danger hung over the future.
His fears were soon realized. On that very evening
the British proceeded to carry out their plan of attack.
By this plan, Sir Henry Clinton was to march along by-
paths across to the eastern or Jamaica road, to seize the
pass in the Bedford hills, thence proceed onward, and
turn the left flank of the Americans; General Grant was
to pass along the shore-road and attack them on the
right, while General De Heister, with his Hessians, was
to threaten the central pass, where Colonel Hand was
stationed with his riflemen.
At nine o'clock Sir Henry, guided by a Long Island
BATTLE OP LONG ISLAND. 419
Tory, commenced his march toward the eastern road; ^hap.
about midnight, Colonel Grant's division moved in an
opposite direction, along the western or shore-road. 1776 -
Colonel Atlee, who was stationed there with a small
company of militia, was driven back from point to point.
News of Grant's approach soon reached General Putnam.
Lord Stirling, with Smallwood's and Haslet's regiments,
was sent to the relief of Colonel Atlee. About daylight
they came up with him, and soon the front of the ap-
proaching enemy appeared in view.
Presently the redoubt at the central pass was can-
nonaded from Flatbush. This firing attracted the atten-
tion of Sullivan, who went to the relief of Colonel Hand.
Thus the object of the British was in part accom-
plished. The attention of the Americans was diverted,
their troops were scattered beyond the lines; silently and
rapidly the forces of Clinton were moving on to cut off 27.
their return. He had found the eastern pass unguarded,
and continued his march undiscovered, and now signal-
guns announced that he was close upon the American
lines. The Hessians advanced at once upon the redoubt.
Colonel Grant pushed on. Sullivan and Stirling both
perceived their danger and endeavored to retreat, but in
vain. The enemy had gained their rear; they were com-
pletely entrapped and hemmed in. It is true, a portion
of Stirling's troops escaped by fording a creek; the re-
mainder, most of whom were of Smallwood's regiment,
took a brave but desperate stand. A scene of carnage
ensued; more than two hundred and fifty of them were
slain within sight of the lines. Some of these were most
cruelly and wantonly bayoneted by the merciless Hes-
sians. At length Stirling sought De Heister and sur-
rendered. Sullivan's forces were driven back and forth
by the two divisions of the enemy, and treated in a like
barbarous manner; some were taken prisoners, among
whom was Sullivan himself; others fought their way
420 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, back to the lines. Some portion of this conflict took
— place amid the hills now embraced in the beautiful ceme-
1776. tery of Greenwood.
Washington reached the spot just in time to witness
the catastrophe. As from the lines he saw his brave
troops surrounded and cruelly slaughtered — touched to
the heart with deep and humane sorrow, he wrung his
hands and exclaimed: " Good God! what brave fellows
I must lose this day! "
The loss of the Americans in this battle was very se-
vere; of the five thousand engaged, nearly two thousand
were slain or taken prisoners, while out of sixteen thou-
sand the British lost but about four hundred. They
made no assault on the American lines, but encamped
directly in front of them, and prepared to carry them
by regular approaches.
Although reinforced the next day by Mifflin's and
Glover's regiments, the Americans had still a very inferior
force. On the morning of the twenty-ninth, as General
Mifflin, with Adjutant-general Reed and Colonel Grayson,
was inspecting the outposts at Red Hook, a light breeze,
that dispersed the fog for a moment, revealed to them the
enemy's fleet. They were justly alarmed; the unusual
stir among the boats convinced them that some great
movement was on foot. It was probable the enemy in-
tended to pass up the bay and surround them. They hast-
ened to Washington, who summoned a council of war,
and it was decided that the army should that night be
secretly withdrawn from the island. It was a hazardous
enterprise, and much was to be done; boats were to be
collected and preparations for the removal of nine thou-
sand men were to be made, in the face of the enemy, rap-
idly, and yet so silently and cautiously, as not to awaken
the slightest suspicion. It was already noon, but the or-
ders were issued, and all the boats around Manhattan
Island were impressed and in readiness at eight o'clock
STATUE OF NATHAN HALE.
THE RETREAT — INCIDENTS. 421
that evening. And at the silent midnight hour the regi- °hap-
ments, one by one, began to march to the ferry, and in '
boats manned by Glover's regiment, most of whom were 1776 -
Marblehead fishermen, they were borne to the city. By
eight o'clock the entire army, with their military stores,
cattle, horses, and carts, were safely landed.
Several incidents occurred, which have a peculiar in-
terest as connected with this famous retreat. General
Mifflin, who was stationed nearest to the enemy's lines,
was to remain at his post until the others had embarked.
Colonel Scammell, who was sent to hasten forward a par-
ticular regiment, mistook his orders and sent on Mifflin
with his whole covering party; and great was the conster-
nation of the Commander-in-chief when they joined the
others at the ferry. "This is a dreadful mistake, General
Mifflin," said he, "and unless the troops can regain the
lines before their absence is discovered by the enemy, the
most disastrous consequences are to be apprehended.' '
They returned to their post with all expedition. "This
was a trying business to young soldiers," says one of their
number, "it was, nevertheless, strictly complied with,
and we remained not less than an hour in the lines be-
fore we received the second order to abandon them." *
A story is told of a woman, wife of a suspected Tory,
who lived near the ferry. She sent her negro servant to
the British with news that the Americans were retreating.
He reached the Hessian outposts in safety, but they did
not understand his language, and detained him a close
prisoner till morning. Then an English officer, who exam-
ined him, learned the truth, but it was too late. The
British did not reach the ferry till the last boat was be-
yond musket shot. It was an August morning; but for Aug.
a dense fog the boats which left after daylight must have
been discovered. The safe retreat of the patriot army
1 Graydon's Memoirs.
422 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, was by many attributed to a peculiar Providence. It was
1 a trust in this Providence, a calm assurance of ultimate
1776. success under its guiding care, that strengthened the
hearts of the patriots in their darkest hour of trial.
A few days after this retreat, Admiral Howe, who
hoped the Americans would now accept peace on his
terms, sent General Sullivan on parole with a letter to
Congress. He invited them to send, in an informal man-
ner, a committee to confer with him on some measures of
reconciliation. He would receive them as private gentle-
men, as the ministry would not acknowledge the legal ex-
istence of Congress. Accordingly John Adams, Doctor
Franklin, and Edward Rutledge, held a conference with
him at a house on Staten Island, opposite Amboy.
Doctor Franklin and Lord Howe had often conversed
together in England on the present difficulties. His lord-
ship made known the terms on which peace could be ob-
tained. These terms were unconditional submission.
When told that the Congress and people would treat on
no other basis than that " of a free and independent na-
tion," he expressed regret that he should be compelled
to distress the Americans. Doctor Franklin reciprocated
his good will, but quietly remarked, " The Americans will
endeavor to lessen the pain you may feel, by taking good
care of themselves." Thus ended the much talked-of in-
terview. The result was good. The people were strength-
ened in the belief that England had no terms to offer,
which would lead them to regret the course they had
The British, now in possession of Long Island, ex-
tended their lines along the East River, and stationed in
them a large number of Hessian troops, of whom rein-
forcements had come within a few days. The defeat at
Brooklyn had a very disheartening effect on the minds
of the militia, great numbers of whom deserted, and soon
DISPOSITION OF THE TROOPS — NATHAN HALE. 423
Washington's army was less than twenty thousand men, chap.
and on many of these little dependence could be placed. 1
The question soon arose, Should New York be defended 1776 -
to the last, or should it be evacuated? Some proposed
to burn it to the ground, as " two-thirds of the property
belonged to Tories," rather than it should furnish com-
fortable winter-quarters for the enemy. Congress de-
cided that the city should not be burned.
The sick and wounded, in the meanwhile, were trans-
ferred to Orange, in New Jersey, and most of the military
stores were removed to Dobbs' Ferry, that the garrison
might be unenumbered should they be obliged to make a
hasty retreat. It was decided by a council of war that
Putnam, with five thousand troops, should remain to gar-
rison New York, while General Heath, with the main
body, was to fortify the heights in the neighborhood of
Kingsbridge, where, presently, Washington transferred
Washington was anxious to learn the designs of the
enemy on Long Island. At the suggestion of Colonel
Knowlton, Nathan Hale volunteered to go on the perilous
errand. Hale was a native of Connecticut, a graduate of
Yale College, had thoughts of studying for the ministry,
and at the commencement of the war was a teacher of
youth. After the battle of Lexington he hastened to Bos-
ton to join the army, in which he served as a lieutenant.
On one occasion, to induce his men to continue their term
of enlistment, he offered them his own pay. Soon after
he received from Congress the commission of captain.
He passed to the island, obtained the knowledge de-
sired, notes of which he took in Latin. As he was return-
ing he fell in with a party of the enemy, was recognized
by a Tory relative, seized and taken to Howe's head-
quarters, and, without much ceremony, was ordered to
be executed the next morning.
The provost-marshal, named Cunningham, treated
424 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, him with great brutality, denied him a Bible, tore up the
letter he had written to his mother, giving as a reason,
1776, " that the rebels should never know they had a man
who could die with such firmness.' ' The last words of
Hale were: " I only regret that I have but one life to lose
for my country."
The entire British fleet was within cannon-shot of the
city, and some of their vessels had passed up the Hudson
and East rivers. They had landed troops on the islands
at the mouth of Harlem river, and there erected a bat-
tery. Soon British and Hessians, under Clinton and Col-
onel Donop, crossed over from the camp on Long Island
to Kipp's Bay, three miles above the city. Washington
heard the cannonading in that quarter, and, as he was on
the way to learn the cause, met the militia, who, on the
first approach of the enemy had fled in sad confusion, fol-
lowed by two brigades of Connecticut troops, who that
very morning had been sent to support them. He strove
to rally them, but in vain; neither entreaties nor com-
mands had any effect upon these panic-stricken soldiers.
Mortified and indignant at their cowardice, he dashed his
hat upon the ground, and exclaimed: "Are these the
men with whom I am to defend America? " The enemy
in pursuit were now not more than eighty yards from him,
but in his excitement he forgot his own safety, and had
not an attendant seized the bridle of his horse and hurried
15. him from the field, he must have fallen into their hands.
Washington ordered General Heath to secure Harlem
Heights, and sent an express order to Putnam to evacuate
the city and retire to those heights with all speed; for he
feared that the enemy would extend their lines across the
island from Kipp's Bay, and cut off his retreat. Fortu-
nately the British did not pursue their advantage. Put-
nam retreated along the west side of the island by the
Bloomingdale road. His line, encumbered with women
and children, was exposed to the fire of the ships lying
'A SUCCESSFUL SKIRMISH. 425
in the Hudson. He ordered, encouraged and aided, and chap.
by his extraordinary exertions, it is said, saved his corps . ,
from entire destruction. However, his heavy artillery 1776 -
and three hundred men fell into the hands of the enemy.
Now the British had possession of the city, and the
main body of the Americans was encamped on the north-
ern portion of the island, across which they threw a
double row of lines, about four and a half miles below
Kingsbridge. Two miles above these lines was Fort
Washington, and a few miles below them were the Brit-
ish lines, extending also from river to river.
On the sixteenth the enemy made an attack upon the Sept
American advanced posts, but were repulsed and driven
off by Virginia and Connecticut troops, but their com-
manders, Major Leitch, and the brave Colonel Knowlton,
one of the heroes of Bunker Hill, both fell in this en-
counter. The spirits of the soldiers, depressed by repeated
defeats and disasters, were somewhat revived by this
The armies watched each other for some weeks. Many
were sick in the American camp; "it was impossible to
find proper hospitals ; and they lay about in almost
every barn, stable, shed, and even under the fences and
Sir William Howe now began to collect forces at
Throg's Neck, a peninsula in the Sound about nine miles
from the American camp. This peninsula was separated
from the mainland by a narrow creek and a marsh, which
was overflowed at high tide. By means of the bridge and
fords, Howe hoped to pass over to the mainland and gain
the rear of the Americans, and cut off their communica-
tion with New England, whence they received most of
their supplies. His plans, though well laid, were defeated.
General Heath was on the alert; he was joined by Colonel
William Prescott, who commanded at Bunker Hill, and
by Hand with his riflemen, and others; every pass was
426 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, guarded, and the planks of the bridge removed. Howe,
. with his usual caution, waited six days for reinforcements.
1776. By this time General Lee, now more a favorite than ever,
had returned from his successful campaign at the South,
and Sullivan, Stirling, and Morgan had been restored to
the army by exchange. While Howe thus delayed, it was
decided, in a council of war, that every American post on
New York Island, excepting Fort Washington, should be
abandoned. This plan was promptly executed. The
army, in four divisions, commanded by Generals Lee,
Q ct Heath, Sullivan, and Lincoln, withdrew across Kings-
23. bridge, and gradually concentrated their forces in a forti-
fied camp near the village of White Plains.
Still hoping to gain their rear, Howe moved on toward
New Rochelle, where he was reinforced by light-horse
troops, and Hessians under General Knyphausen, who
had recently arrived from Europe. He advanced upon
the camp. Scarcely had the Americans intrenched them-
selves at White Plains when a rumor of his approach
reached them. On the twenty-eighth, as Washington,
accompanied by his general officers, was recounoitring the
heights in the neighborhood, the alarm was given that the
enemy had driven in the picket-guards, and were within
the camp. When he reached headquarters he found the
army already posted in order of battle. The enemy did
not advance upon them; they turned their attention to a
height known as Chatterton's Hill, which lay a little south
of the camp, and was separated from it by the river Bronx.
This height was occupied by sixteen hundred men under
General McDougall, and the attack was made at this
point. After a feeble resistance, the militia fled, but
Hazlet's and Smallwood's regiments, so famous on Long
Island, made a brave stand, and repeatedly repulsed the
enemy; but, at length, overpowered by numbers, they
retreated across the bridge to the camp. This battle of
A NIOHT OF LABOR — THREATENED DANGERS. 427
White Plains was a spirited encounter, in which each of chap.
the parties lost about four hundred men.
The British took possession of the hill, and began to 1776 -
intrench themselves; and now, for the third time, the
" armies lay looking at each other; " they were within
Could the undisciplined, war-worn, and disheartened
Americans hope to escape from a force so well equipped
and so powerful? That night was to them an anxious
one. It was passed in severe labor; they doubled their in-
trenchments and threw up redoubts. Some of these were
has tily constructed of stalks of corn,pulled up from a neigh-
boring field, with the earth clinging to the roots. These
piled with the roots outward, presented an appearance
so formidable that Howe, deceived as to their strength,
did not attack them, but ordered up reinforcements.
Howe's cautious conduct of the war has been severely
criticised, and various reasons have been assigned, but it
has never been satisfactorily explained; whatever his
reasons may have been, his delay at this time cost him
another golden opportunity. Washington withdrew his
army in the night-time to the heights of North Castle, a
strong position, about five miles distant. His enemy had Nov
again eluded him, and Howe retired with his forces to 4.
Dobbs' Ferry, on the Hudson.
This movement awakened new fears — did he intend
to pass down the river to Fort Washington, or to cross
into New Jersey? " He must attempt something,"
writes Washington, " on account of his reputation, for
what has he done yet with his great army? "
To meet the threatened dangers a new disposition was
made of the American forces. Lee, with a portion, was to
remain at North Castle; Putnam, with another, was to
guard the west side of the Hudson; Heath, the guardian
of the passes of the Highlands, was to encamp at Peeks-
kill; while General Greene commanded at Fort Lee, and
428 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Colonel Magaw, with the Pennsylvania troops, occupied
. '. Fort Washington.
1776. With respect to maintaining Fort Washington, there
was a diversity of opinion, as neither that fort nor the ob-
structions across the channel had prevented the passage
of vessels up the Hudson. Washington, with Lee, Reed,
and others, was in favor of withdrawing the troops at
once. He addressed a letter to Greene, in which he ad-
vised this course, but left the matter to his discretion.
Greene and Magaw, who were both on the spot, and knew
the condition of the fort, decided that it could be main-
tained, and made preparations accordingly. This was,
as the result proved, an injudicious decision. The post
was comparatively useless; it was accessible on three sides
from the water; the fort was very small, and would not
contain more than a thousand men, the lines were very
extensive, and the garrison insufficient to man them.
Washington visited the posts along the river. When
he arrived at Fort Lee, he was greatly disappointed to find
that the troops had not been withdrawn from Fort Wash-
ington; and before he could make a personal examina-
tion the fort was invested. It was attacked on all sides.
The garrison, after a brave resistance, which cost the
enemy four hundred men, was driven from the outer lines,
and crowded into the fort, where they were unable to fight
to advantage, and were exposed to the shells of the enemy.
Further resistance was impossible, and Colonel Magaw
surrendered all his troops, two thousand in number. Dur-
ing this action the troops of Cadwallader especially dis-
tinguished themselves. Of the officers, Colonel Baxter,
of Pennsylvania, fell while cheering on his men.
Nov. From the New Jersey shore the Commander-in-chief
witnessed a portion of the battle, and again he saw some
of his brave troops bayoneted by the merciless Hessians,
and wept, it is said, " with the tenderness of a child."
It was resolved to abandon Fort Lee, but before it
THE RETREAT. 429
was fully accomplished, Cornwallis, with a force six thou- chap.
sand strong, crossed the Hudson to the foot of the rocky 1
cliffs known as the Palisades. The force sent down from 1776 -
North Castle was encamped at Hackensack, which lay be-
tween the river of that name and the Hudson, and Wash-
ington saw at once that the object of the enemy was to
form a line across the country, and hem them in between
the rivers. To avoid this he retreated, with all his forces,
including the garrison at Fort Lee, to secure the bridge
over the Hackensack, thence across the Passaic to the
neighborhood of Newark. This retreat was made in such
haste that nearly all the artillery was abandoned, the
tents left standing, and the fires burning. That night
the enemy found shelter in the tents of the deserted
From Newark the army moved on across the Raritan
to Brunswick, thence to Princeton, where they left twelve
hundred men, under Lord Stirling, to check the enemy,
while the main body proceeded to Trenton, and thence
beyond the Delaware. The enemy pressed so closely upon
them that the advance of Cornwallis entered Newark at
one end as their rear-guard passed out at the other, and
often during this march, " the American rear-guard, em-
ployed in pulling up bridges, was within sight and shot
of the British pioneers, sent forward to rebuild them."
Thus less than four thousand men — a mere shadow
of an army — poorly clad, with a scant supply of blankets,
without tents, and enfeebled for want of wholesome food,
evaded, by an orderly retreat, a well appointed force that
far outnumbered them, well fed, well clothed, well disci-
plined, and flushed with victory. When the enemy
reached the Delaware, they were unable to cross over,
not a boat was to be found; Washington had taken the
precaution to have them all secured for a distance of
seventy miles, and transferred to the west side. Thus
ended this famous retreat, remarkable for the manner in
430 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxx/ which it was conducted, and the circumstances under
which it took place.
Cornwallis was anxious to procure boats and push on
to Philadelphia, but Howe decided to wait till the river
should be frozen. Meanwhile, the Hessians were stationed
along the eastern bank for some miles above and below
During his harassed march, Washington had sent re-
peated and urgent orders to Lee to hasten to his aid with
reinforcements. Notwithstanding the emergency , which
he well knew, Lee lingered for two or three weeks on the
east side of the Hudson, and when actually on the march,
proceeded so slowly, that he did not reach Morristown
until the eleventh of December.
Lee had a high opinion of his own military abilities,
and evidently desired an independent command. The
deference which the Americans had paid to his judgment
and the importance they attached to his presence in the
army, had nattered his natural self-conceit; his success
at the South, and the correctness of his views in relation
to Fort Washington, had strengthened his influence over
them, and now, in this time of depression and discourage-
ment, he hoped by some brilliant exploit to retrieve the
fortunes of the army, and gain more glory to himself. In
this mood he writes: "I am going into the Jerseys for
the salvation of America." And again: "lam in hopes
to reconquer, if I may so express myself, the Jerseys;
it was really in the hands of the enemy before my arri-
val.' ' While he pondered over these vain projects, he dis-
regarded the authority of the Commander-in-chief, and,
to say the least, subjected him to cruel inconvenience.
We have no reason to believe that Lee was untrue to the
cause he had embraced,but his wayward conduct, at this
time and afterward, has diminished the grateful respect
with which Americans would have cherished his memory.
THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
Discouragements. — Effects of Howe's Proclamation. — Affairs on
Lake Champlain. — Heroism of Arnold. — Carleton retires to
Canada. — Capture of Lee. — Troops from the Northern Army.—
Battle of Trenton. — Battle of Princeton. — Death of Mercer. — ■
Washington retires to Morristown. — Cornwallis in his Lines at
Brunswick. — Encouragements. — Putnam at Princeton. — Ill-
treatment of American Prisoners; their Exchange under Nego-
tiation. — Appointment of General Officers. — Muhlenburg. —
Wayne. — Conway. — Medical Department. — The Navy. — Maraud-
ing Expeditions. — Peekskill. — Danbury. — Death of Wooster. —
Retaliation at Sag Harbor. — Efforts to recruit the Army. —
Schuyler and Gates. — The National Flag.
As the news of this retreat went abroad, the friends of the chap.
cause were discouraged. What remained of the army was 1
fast wasting away; their enlistments were about to ex- 1776.
pire, and the militia, especially that of New Jersey, re-
fused to take the field in behalf of a ruined enterprise.
Many thought the States could not maintain their inde-
pendence; but there were a few who, confident in the
justice of their cause, were firm and undaunted. Among
these was Washington. In a conversation with General
Mercer he remarked: "That even if driven beyond the
Alleghanies, he would stand to the last for the liberties
of his country."
Howe felt certain the game was his own; he had only
to bide his time. He sent forth another proclamation, in
432 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxxf which he called upon all insurgents to disband, and Con-
— gress to lay down their usurped authority; and offered
pardon to all who should accept the terms within sixty
days. Many persons, most of whom were wealthy, com-
plied. Among these were two of the delegates from Penn-
sylvania to the late Continental Congress, and the presi-
dent of the New Jersey Convention which had sanctioned
the Declaration of Independence, and others who had
taken an active part in favor of the Revolution. For ten
days after the proclamation was issued, from two to three
hundred came every day to take the required oath.
The movements of the enemy, and the effect produced
by the proclamation, caused great excitement in Phila-
delphia. Putnam, who had been sent to command there,
advised that, during this season of peril, Congress should
Dec. bold its sessions elsewhere, and it adj ourned to meet again
12 - at Baltimore.
At this time a reinforcement of seven regiments was
on its way from Canada. We now return to the forces
on Lake Champlain, where we left Schuyler and Gates
in a sort of joint command.
The army driven out of Canada, broken, diseased, and
dispirited, rested first at Crown Toint and then at Ticon-
deroga. During his retreat, Sullivan wisely secured or
destroyed all the boats on Lake Champlain. Its shores
were an unbroken wilderness; thus the British were un-
able to follow up their pursuit by land or by water.
Sir Guy Carleton, flushed with victory, and full of
ardor, determined to overcome all obstacles and push his
victory to the utmost. He would obtain the command
of the Lakes Champlain and George, and by that means
subdue northern New York, and then proceed to take
possession of Albany, where he hoped to take up his win-
ter-quarters. From that point he hoped, by means of
the Hudson, to co-operate with the Howes at New York,
to cut off the communication between New England and
HEROISM OF ARNOLD. 433
the States west and south. This he believed would bring chap.
the contest to a speedy close, and secure to himself a
share of the honors of the victory. He exerted himself 1776 -
with so much energy and success that at the end of three
months he had a well-equipped fleet. The frames of five
large vessels that had been brought from England were
put together at St. John's on the Sorel. These, with
twenty smaller craft and some armed boats, which had
been dragged up the rapids of that river, were now
launched upon the lake.
The Americans were not idle. General Gates author-
ized Arnold, who was somewhat of a seaman, to fit out
and command a flotilla. Arnold threw himself into the
enterprise with all the energy of his nature, and soon was
master of a force, in vessels and men, nearly half as large
as that of Carle ton. He moved his little fleet across a
narrow strait between Valcour Island and the mainland,
in such a position that the whole force of the enemy could
not be made to bear upon him at one time ; there he awaited
the contest. As Carleton, with a favorable wind, swept
briskly up the lake, he passed the island behind which
Arnold's flotilla lay snugly anchored, before he observed
it. The wind was such that the larger ships could not
beat up the strait, but the smaller vessels advanced, and
a desperate encounter ensued, which was continued until
evening came on. Then Carleton arranged his squadron
so as to intercept Arnold's escape and awaited the morn-
ing; when, if his larger vessels could be made to bear, he
felt certain of the prize. The night proved dark and
cloudy; favored by this circumstance, Arnold slipped by
the enemy, and at daylight was some miles on his way to
Crown Point. But as most of his vessels were in bad con-
dition they could make but little headway; only six
reached that place in safety, two were sunk, and the oth- Q
ere were overtaken by Carleton a few miles from the Point, 6.
434 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, where one was captured with the crew. Arnold fought
— 1— desperately, until his galley, the Congress, was cut to
1776. pieces and one-third of her crew killed. Determined that
his flag should not be struck, he ordered his vessels to be
grounded and set on fire. When this was done he, with
his men, leaped out and waded to the shore, and by well-
directed rifle-shots kept the enemy at bay till the vessels
were consumed and with them the still waving flag; then
giving a triumphant cheer, they moved off through the
woods to Crown Point, where they found the remnant of
the fleet. They stayed only to destroy the houses and the
stores at the fort, and then embarked for Ticonderoga.
Before the enemy arrived Gates, who commanded at that
post, had so strengthened his position that Carleton de-
cided not to attack it, but to retire to Canada and post-
pone his wintering in Albany to some future day.
As the forts on the Lakes were safe for the present,
General Schuyler detached the seven regiments, of which
we have spoken, to the relief of Washington. When Lee
learned that three of these regiments were at Peekskill
he ordered them to join him at Morristown. The remain-
ing four, under General Gates, were passing through
northern New Jersey toward Trenton.
Gates was detained by a severe snow-storm, and un-
certain as to the exact position of the army, he sent for-
ward Major Wilkinson with a letter to Washington,
stating his position and asking what route he should take
to the camp. Wilkinson learned that Washington had
crossed the Delaware; and as General Lee, the second in
command, was at Morristown, he made his way thither.
Just at this time Lee with a small guard was quartered
for the night at a tavern at Baskenridge, three miles from
his army, which was left under the command of Sullivan.
Here he was joined by Wilkinson on the morning of the
D ec . thirteenth of December. Lee took his breakfast in a
13 - leisurely manner, discussed the news, and had j ust finished
CAPTURE OF LEE. 485
a letter to General Gates when, much to his surprise, the chap
house was surrounded by a party of British dragoons. He 1
had not dreamed that an enemy was near, and his guards 1776 -
were off duty. But a Tory of the neighborhood had
learned the evening before where he intended to lodge
and breakfast, and had, during the night, ridden eighteen
miles to Brunswick to inform the enemy and to pilot
them to the spot. For a few moments all was confusion.
The dragoons were calling for the General, and the Gen-
eral was calling for the guards, who were scattered in all
directions. The scene was soon closed. General Lee
without a hat, clad in a blanket-coat and slippers, was
mounted on a horse that stood at the door, and borne
off in triumph to the British army at Brunswick."
Had Lee, by seme fortunate accident, succeeded in
retrieving the fortunes of the army, unsuccessful under
Washington, it is probable that the wishes of the people
might have turned toward him as commander-in-chief.
For men are too apt to judge of those who live in the
same age with themselves merely by their success; and
too often they yield to what is self-confident and assum-
ing, the honor and respect due to sober judgment and
high moral principles.
Under these circumstances, Lee's success would have
proved most unfortunate for the country, for he had
neither the judgment nor the principle necessary to guide
it safely through the approaching crisis.
After the capture of Lee the troops under Sullivan
moved on at once to join the Commander-in-chief. Gen-
eral Gates, who had left his regiments at Morristown,
reached the camp on the same day. As Washington had
now a force of about six thousand men fit for service, he
was anxious to strike a blow that should revive the cour-
age of the army and the people before the disbandment
of those troops whose terms of enlistments were about to
436 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, expire. The prospect of success was doubtful, but he
. . felt that, under the circumstances, inaction would ruin
1776 - the cause, and defeat could do no more.
Howe was in New York; Cornwallis, who was on the
eve of embarking for England, was there also. The Brit-
ish forces in New Jersey, though strong, were much scat-
tered. The Hessians, who were in the advance, were
carelessly cantoned at different points along the eastern
bank of the Delaware. Colonel Donop was stationed at
Burlington, and his forces were quartered above and be-
low that point. Colonel Rahl, who had distinguished
himself at White Plains and Fort Washington, was at
Trenton with a force of fifteen hundred men. This brave
but careless commander took his ease, enjoyed his music
and bath, and when it was proposed to throw up works
upon which to mount cannon in readiness against an
assault, said merrily: "Pooh pooh! an assault by the
rebels! Let them come; we'll at them with the bay-
onet." The Hessians were a terror to the people; they
plundered indiscriminately Whig and Tory. The Amer-
ican soldiers hated them intensely for their savage bay-
onetings on the battle-field, and were eager to avenge
the outrages inflicted upon their friends and countrymen.
Washington proposed to cross the river and surprise
the Hessians at different points. A council of war was
held, and Christmas night was fixed upon for the enter-
prise. By the plan proposed Washington himself was to
cross nine miles above Trenton and march down upon
that place. Colonel Ewing, with the Pennsylvania mili-
tia, was to cross a mile below the town and secure the
bridge over Assunpink creek, at the south side of it, and
thus cut off the enemy's retreat. Adjutant-general Reed
and Colonel Cadwallader, who were stationed at Bristol,
nearly opposite Burlington, were to cross below that place
BATTLE OF TRENTON. 43?
and advance against Count Donop's division. The at- chap.
tacks were to be simultaneous, and five o'clock on the — —
morning of the twenty-sixth was the hour agreed upon. 1776
Just after sunset, on Christmas night, the division
under Washington, twenty-four hundred in number,
began to pass over. With this division was a train of
twenty field-pieces under the command of Colonel Knox.
The river was filled with floating ice, and the weather
was intensely cold. The boats were guided by Colonel
Glover and his regiment of Marblehead fishermen, the
same who had guided the boats on the memorable re-
treat from Long Island. The night was extremely dark
and tempestuous, and the floating ice and strong wind
drove them out of their course again and again.
Washington had hoped to be on the march by mid-
night, but hour after hour passed, and it was four o'clock
before the artillery was landed and the troops ready to
move on. They marched in two divisions, one led by
Washington (with whom were Generals Greene, Stirling,
Mercer and Stephen), by a circuitous route to the north
of the town, while the other, under Sullivan, with whom
was Colonel John Stark, with his New Hampshire band,
was to advance by a direct road along the river to the
west and south side. Sullivan was to halt at a certain
point to allow time for the main division to make the
It was eight o'clock before this division reached the
immediate neighborhood of Trenton; they had struggled
through a terrible storm of hail and snow; it had impeded 2 e>?
their march, but it had also aided to conceal their move-
ments from the enemy. Washington, who had pushed on
with the advance, asked of a man who was chopping wood
by the road-side the way to the Hessian picket. He an-
swered gruffly, " I don't know," and went on with his
work. " You may tell," said Captain Forrest of the ar-
tillery, " for that is General Washington." " God bless
438 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, and prosper you" exclaimed the man, raising his hands
to heaven, " the picket is in that house, and the sentry
1776 - stands near that tree."
In a few minutes the picket-guards were driven in.
Late as it was, the Hessians were completely surprised.
According to their custom, they had indulged freely in
the festivities of Christmas, and were resting thoughtless
of danger, when the drums suddenly beat to arms. All
was confusion. At the first alarm, Colonel Rahl, who
learned from the lieutenant of the picket-guard that a
large force was advancing to surround him, endeavored to
rally his panic-stricken troops. He seems to have medi-
tated a retreat to Princeton; he had, in fact, passed out
of the town, but the ambition of the soldier triumphed
in his breast; how could he fly before the rebels he had
despised? He rashly returned to the charge. By this
time Washington had gained the main street, and opened
a battery of six field-pieces, which swept it from end to
end. As Rahl advanced at the head of his grenadiers he
fell mortally wounded. At the fall of their leader his
soldiers attempted to retreat, but they were intercepted
by Colonel Hand, with his Pennsylvania riflemen; and,
hemmed in on all sides, they grounded their arms and
surrendered at discretion.
Stark, with his detachment, had assaulted the south
side of the town, and the firing in that quarter had added
to the general confusion. A party of British light-horse,
and five hundred Hessians stationed there " took head-
long flight, by the bridge across the Assunpink," and
thus escaped and joined Don op at Bordentown. Had
Colonel Ewing been able to cross, according to the ar-
rangement, their escape would have been prevented.
The Americans took one thousand prisoners, of whom
thirty- two were officers; of their own number, only two
were killed and two were frozen to death on the march.
Several were wounded, among whom was James Monroe,
PLANS TO DRIVE THE ENEMY OUT OF JERSEY. 439
afterward President of the United States, who was at chap.
this time a lieutenant in the army.
The attack designed by Reed and Cadwallader, like 1776 -
that of Colonel Ewing, was prevented by the ice, which
made it impossible for them to embark their cannon.
Thus the success was incomplete, and Washington at
Trenton, encumbered by his prisoners, with a strong force
of the enemy below him under Count Donop, and another
in his rear at Princeton, prudently resolved to recross the
Before he left the town he, with General Greene,
visited Colonel Rahl, who survived until the evening of
the day after the battle. The dying colonel remembered
his grenadiers, and during this visit he commended them
to the consideration of Washington. Rahl lies buried
in the grave-yard of the Presbyterian church in Trenton.
When Washington had disposed of his prisoners and
allowed his troops a little time to recruit, he resolved to
return and follow up his success before the enthusiasm
it had awakened had time to cool. Meantime, he had
received from Reed and Cadwallader, who had crossed on
the twenty-seventh, the encouraging news that all the Dec.
Hessian posts on the river were deserted; that Count
Donop had retreated with all haste to Brunswick, with
a portion of his forces, while the remainder had made
their way to Princeton.
"A fair opportunity is now offered,' ' writes Washing-
ton at this time, " to drive the enemy out of New Jersey,"
and he formed his plans accordingly. The American
forces, now no longer needed to guard the Delaware, were
gradually concentrating at Trenton. Parties were sent to
harass the retreating enemy, and General Heath was or-
dered to make a demonstration from the Highlands, as
if he intended to attack New York. The New England
regiments whose terms were about to expire were induced
by a bounty of ten dollars and the persuasions of their
440 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, officers to remain six weeks longer. Men of standing and
influence were sent abroad to rouse the militia of New
1776 - Jersey to avenge the outrages inflicted upon the people
by the Hessians. Matters began to wear a brighter as-
pect, and hope and enthusiasm were revived.
At this crisis Washington received the highest mark
of confidence in the gift of the people — Congress invested
him with unlimited military authority for six months.
The letter of the committee which conveyed to him this
resolution closed with these words: "Happy is it for
this country that the general of their forces can safely
be intrusted with the most unlimited power, and neither
personal security, liberty, nor property be in the least
endangered thereby." *
Nothing could exceed the astonishment of Howe when
he learned that his Hessians, veterans in war, had fled
before the militia. Cornwallis was hurried back to resume
his command in the Jerseys.
Washington, anxious to ascertain the movements and
designs of the enemy, sent forward Colonel Reed, who
was well acquainted with the country, to reconnoitre.
With Reed were six young horsemen, members of the
"Philadelphia City Troop," full of fire and zeal, but who
had never seen active service. No reward could induce
the terror-stricken people to approach Princeton and bring
them information. Nothing daunted, the party dashed
on till they were in view of the top of the college building,
when they observed a British dragoon passing from a barn
to a farm-house. Supposing him to be a marauder, they
determined to capture him and obtain the desired infor-
mation. Presently they saw another and another. They
charged at once and surrounded the house, " and twelve
dragoons, well armed, with their pieces loaded, and hav-
1 Correspondence of the Revolution, vol. iv., p. 552.
BOTH ARMIES ON THE BANKS OF ASSUNPINK CREEK. 441
ing the advantage of the house, surrendered to seven chap.
horsemen, six of whom had never seen an enemy before,
and, almost in sight of the British army, were brought 1776 *
into the American camp at Trenton, on the same even-
ing." ' The sergeant of the dragoons alone escaped. The
information obtained from these prisoners was most im-
portant. Cornwallis, with a body of picked troops, had
joined Colonel Grant the day before at Princeton, and
they were ready to march the next day upon Trenton,
with a strong force of seven or eight thousand men.
In anticipation of an attack, Washington arranged
his men, in number about six thousand, in a favorable
position on the east bank of Assunpink creek. As the
enemy approached, on the second of January, their ad- Jan -
vance was harassed, and so effectually held in check by
forces sent forward under General Greene and Colonel
Hand, that they did not reach Trenton till near sunset.
The fords and bridges over the creek were carefully guarded
and defended by the American batteries. Cornwallis made
repeated attempts to cross, but was as often repulsed;
at each repulse a shout ran along the American lines.
Thinking that the struggle might be a desperate one, the
British commander concluded to defer it till the next
day, and retired with the boast that he would "bag the
fox in the morning." Both armies kindled their camp-
fires, and once more they rested in sight of each other.
Never had the prospect of the Americans been so
gloomy. The officers gathered at the quarters of General
Mercer to hold a council of war; to retreat was impossi-
ble; behind them was the Delaware, filled with floating
ice. Who could propose an expedient that would relieve
them from the present dilemma? Such an expedient,
one of the boldest and best conceived of the whole war,
1 Life of Colonel Reed, p. 369.
442 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, had crossed the mind of the Commander-in-chief. He
. judged that the main division of the British forces was
1777. with Cornwallis; that Princeton and Brunswick, where
their stores were deposited, could be but imperfectly
guarded. He proposed to march by a circuitous and
obscure road around the left flank of the enemy to
Princeton, capture the forces there, and then push on and
seize the stores at Brunswick. The plan was accepted at
once, and the officers entered into it with alacrity. The
stores were sent down the river to Burlington, and various
stratagems were resorted to to deceive the enemy. Small
parties were left behind, some to be noisily employed in
digging trenches within hearing of their sentinels; others
to relieve the guards and replenish the camp-fires and
preserve all the appearance of a regular encampment; at
daylight these were to hasten after the army.
About midnight the Americans began their silent
march. The road over which they moved was new and
rough, and at sunrise they were still three miles from
Princeton. Here they halted and formed into two divi-
sions, one of which, under Washington, was to proceed
by a cross-cut to the town, while the other, under Gen-
eral Mercer, was to gain the main road and destroy the
bridge, when they had passed over, to prevent the ap-
proach of Cornwallis.
Three British regiments had passed the night at
Jan. Princeton, and two of them were already on their march
to join the forces at Trenton. Colonel Mawhood, com-
mander of the foremost, when about two miles from the
town, caught sight of Mercer's division. Believing it a
party of Americans who had been driven from Trenton,
he sent back a messenger to Princeton to hurry on the
other regiments, that they might surround them and cut
off their retreat. Presently Mercer espied the British,
and now both parties rushed to gain a favorable position
on a rising ground. The Americans were successful, and
BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 443
with their rifles opened a severe fire upon the enemy, chap.
who returned it vigorously. Almost at the first fire '
Mercer's horse was shot under him, and the second officer 1777 -
in command fell mortally wounded. The enemy took
advantage of the confusion that followed the fall of the
leaders and rushed on with the bayonet. The Americans,
who were without bayonets, unable to withstand the
charge, gave way. As Mercer, now on foot, endeavored
to rally them, he was struck down, bayoneted, and left
on the field apparently dead.
As his men retreated in confusion, a body of Pennsyl-
vania militia, which Washington had sent to their aid,
appeared in sight. Mawhood instantly checked his pur-
suit of the fugitives and opened upon these fresh troops a
heavy fire of artillery which brought them to a stand.
Convinced by the continued firing that the conflict
was serious, Washington spurred on in advance of his
division, and just at this crisis had reached a rising ground
near by, from which he witnessed the scene. He saw the
scattered forces of Mercer, the hesitation of the militia;
everything was at stake. He dashed forward in the face
of Mawhood's artillery, exposed both to the fire of the
enemy and the random shots of his own soldiers, and
waving his hat, called upon the faltering and broken
forces to follow him. Inspired by his voice and example,
they rallied at once and returned to the charge. At this
moment a Virginia regiment emerged from a neighbor-
ing wood, and with loud cheers engaged in the conflict;
while the American artillery, now within range, began
to shower grape-shot upon the enemy. The fight was
desperate, but the field was won. Mawhood, who, a few
minutes before, had felt certain of victory, now with great
difficulty forced his way back to the main road and re-
treated with all haste toward Trenton.
The second regiment was attacked by the brigade
under St. Clair; broken and scattered, it fled across the
444 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, fields towards New Brunswick. Alarmed at the general
— — ' rout, a part of the third regiment fled in the same direc-
1777 - tion, while another portion took refuge in the college
building. The American artillery was immediately
brought to bear upon it, and they soon surrendered.
The British loss in this battle was about one hundred
slain and three hundred prisoners, while the Americans
lost but few; among these was the brave Colonel Haslet.
Mercer, who was left on the field for dead was after the
battle discovered by Colonel Armstrong, still alive, but
suffering greatly from his wounds, and exposure to the
cold. He was borne to a neighboring farm-house, where,
after a few days, he expired. As a soldier, he was brave;
as a man of sterling merit, he was worthy the respect of
his adopted countrymen, for, like Montgomery, he was
of foreign birth, and like him, he has won an honorable
name among the heroes of the Revolution.
Washington, eager to secure the stores so necessary
for his army, pushed on some distance toward Brunswick.
A little reflection convinced him that his troops, in their
exhausted condition, could not reach there before they
would be overtaken. They had been a night and a day
without rest; they were thinly clad, and some of them
were barefoot. He stopped and held a consultation with
his officers on horseback. They decided that it was inju-
dicious to proceed. Grieved and disappointed that they
were unable to reap the advantage of their recent suc-
cess, they turned their steps toward Morristown.
When morning revealed to the enemy on the banks of
the Assunpink the deserted camp of the Americans, Corn-
wallis was greatly at a loss to divine to what covert the
"fox" had fled. Soon the booming of cannon at Prince-
ton gave him the desired information. His thoughts
turned at once to the stores at Brunswick; he must save
THE BRITISH CONFINED TO THEIR CAMP. 445
them from the hands of his enemy. His march back to chap.
Princeton was much impeded. The Americans had not i
forgotten to throw obstacles in his way. He found the 1777 -
bridge over Stony Creek, a few miles from the town,
broken down, and the party of Americans left for that
purpose still in sight. Impatient of delay, he urged on
his soldiers, who, although the waters were breast high,
dashed across the stream. Believing that Washington
was in full march for Brunswick, he halted not at Prince-
ton, but hurried on in pursuit with so much eagerness
that he did not observe that the Americans had diverged
from the road.
The American army retreated to a strong position at
Morristown. There the soldiers provided themselves
huts, and remained until the last of May.
For six months after the battle of Princeton no en-
terprise of importance was undertaken by either party.
The yeomanry of New Jersey were now thoroughly
roused to preserve their State from further depredations.
They warmly seconded the efforts of Washington, and
greatly aided the detachments from the army, who were
on the alert to cut off the foraging parties of the enemy;
and so effectually did they harass them that they scarcely
ventured out of sight of their camp. Thus unable to ob-
tain provisions for his army, Cornwallis gradually with-
drew within his lines, at Brunswick and Amboy, that he
might be in communication with New York by water,
whence alone he could draw his supplies. Thus those
who, a few weeks before, were in possession of nearly all
New Jersey, were now able to retain scarcely more of
her soil than was sufficient for a camp.
The success that had crowned the American arms at
Trenton and Princeton cheered the hearts and revived
the hopes of the patriots; but they knew well that the
enemy was checked, not conquered; that the struggle
must be renewed, and the result was still doubtful.
446 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. Washington had established his headquarters at Mor-
ristown, while the right wing of his army, under Putnam,
1777 • was stationed at Princeton, and the left was in the High-
lands, under General Heath. Along this extended line,
at convenient distances, were established cantonments.
Though weak in numbers, the army was so judiciously
posted that the enemy, deceived by its apparent strength,
hesitated to attack it.
Putnam, who had with him but a few hundred men,
resorted to stratagem to hide his weakness. A British
officer, who lay mortally wounded at Princeton, desired
the presence of a military comrade in his last moments.
The kind-hearted general could not deny the request; he
sent a flag to Brunswick in quest of the friend, who en-
tered Princeton after dark. Every unoccupied house was
carefully lighted, lights gleamed in all the college win-
dows, and the Old General marched and countermarched
his scanty forces to such effect that the British soldier
on his return to the camp reported them as at least five
The winter atMorristown was a season of comparative
quiet, during which the Commander-in-chief was engaged
in earnest efforts to improve the state of his army. The
evil effects of the system of short enlistments adopted by
Congress, and repeatedly protested against by Washing-
ton, were severely felt at this juncture. The terms of
great numbers were about to expire, and new recruits
came in but slowly. To guard against the ravages of
small-pox, which at times had been fatally prevalent in
the army, these were inoculated as fast as they came in.
The exchange of prisoners had become a subject of
negotiation. At first the British refused to exchange on
equal terms on the plea that the Americans were rebels,
but Howe, who had at this time about five thousand on
his hands, opened a correspondence with Washington on
the subject. Now the Americans in their turn objected
SUFFERINGS OF AMERICAN PRISONERS. 447
to an exchange. Their captured countrymen had been chap.
left to the tender mercies of the New York Tories, crowded !
into warehouses which had been converted into prisons, 1777 -
or into loathsome hulks anchored in the bay; fed with
impure food, and left to languish in filth and nakedness.
Thrilling tales are told of the sufferings of those confined
in the sugar-house and on board the Jersey, a prison-
ship. More than ten thousand wretched American pris-
oners died during the war, and were buried without cere-
mony in shallow graves at Brooklyn, on Long Island.
Of those who survived scarcely one ever fully recovered
from the effects of these hardships.
Washingon refused to recruit the British army by
an exchange of well-fed and hale Hessian and British
prisoners for emanciated and diseased Americans, whose
terms of enlistment had expired and who were scarcely
able, from very weakness, to return to their homes. His
policy was sanctioned by Congress — a severe policy, but
authorized by the necessities of the times.
To supply the want of field-officers, Congress com- Feb.
missioned five major-generals: Stirling, St. Clair, Mifflin, 19 '
Stephen and Lincoln. The latter we have seen as the
secretary of the first Provincial Congress of Massachu-
setts. He was afterward the efficient commander of the
militia of that State, and now he was promoted over the
heads of all the brigadiers. In these appointments, Ar-
nold, whose meritorious conduct on the battle-field, as
well as his seniority as a brigadier, entitled him to promo-
tion, was entirely overlooked. He complained bitterly of
this injustice; the wound rankled in his proud breast;
from this hour till he found consolation in revenge he
seems to have brooded over the disrespect shown him by
Eighteen brigadier-generals were also commissioned,
among whom were Glover, the leader of the Marblehead
fishermen; George Clinton, of New York, the sturdy
448 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, guardian of the Highlands, and afterward Vice-President,
Woodford and Muhlenburg, of Virginia — the latter a
1777 - Lutheran clergyman, who at the commencement of hos-
tilities had "laid aside the surplice to put on a uniform,"
raised a company of soldiers, and who continued in the
army till the close of the war — and Hand and Anthony
Wayne, of Pennsylvania. Wayne was by nature a sol-
dier; even in his school-days he turned the heads of his
companions by telling them stories of battles and sieges,
and drilled them in making and capturing mud forts. In
later years he was so distinguished for his daring that he
became known in the army by the appellation of "Mad
An Irish adventurer named Conway, who professed
to have served for thirty years in the French army, and
to be thoroughly skilled in the science of war, was also
commissioned. He proved, however, more famous for
intrigues than for military genius or courage.
Congress also authorized the enlistment of four regi-
ments of cavalry. The quartermaster's department was
more perfectly arranged, and General Mifflin was placed
at its head.
The hospital department was also reorganized, and
placed under the charge of Doctor Shippen, of the Medi-
cal College at Philadelphia. His principal assistant was
Doctor Craik, the friend and companion of Washington
in his expeditions against Fort Du Quesne.
Doctor Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence, and afterward celebrated in his profession,
was appointed surgeon-general. The office of adjutant-
general, resigned by Colonel Reed, was given to Timothy
Pickering, of Massachusetts.
Nor was the navy neglected. Of the vessels authorized
to be built, several frigates had been finished and equipped,
but the want of funds prevented the completion of the
remainder, for the Continental money began to depreciate,
MARAUDING EXPEDITIONS — DANBUBY BURNED. 449
and loans could not be obtained. The entire American chap.
fleet under Admiral Hopkins was at this time blockaded 1
at Providence. But privateers, especially from New Eng- 1777 -
land, were eager in pursuit of British vessels trading to
the West Indies, of which they captured nearly three
hundred and fifty, whose cargoes were worth five millions
of dollars. A profitable trade, principally by way of the
West Indies, was also opened with France, Spain and
Holland, but it was attended by great risks, and a large
number of American vessels thus engaged fell into the
hands of British cruisers.
In the spring, while Washington still remained at
Morris town, the British commenced a series of marauding
expeditions. A strong party was sent up the Hudson to
seize the military stores at Peekskill. General McDou-
gall, finding it impossible to defend them against a force
so superior, burned them, and retired with his men to
the hills in the vicinity. As General Heath had been
transferred to the command in Massachusetts, Washing-
ton sent Putnam to command in the Highlands.
A month later Cornwallis made an attack on a corps * .-
under General Lincoln, stationed at Boundbrook, a few 13.
miles from Brunswick. The militia, to whom the duty
was intrusted, imperfectly guarded the camp. Lincoln
with difficulty extricated himself, after losing a few men
and some cannon.
Presently a fleet of twenty-six sail was seen proceed-
ing up the Sound; anxious eyes watched it from the shore.
It was the intriguing Tryon, now a major-general, in
command of a body of Tories two thousand strong, who
was on his way to destroy the military stores collected
at Danbury, Connecticut. He landed on the beach
between Fairfield and Norwalk on the afternoon of the
twenty-fifth, and immediately commenced his march. April.
HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. The alarm spread; General Silliman, of the Con-
. ' necticut militia, called out his men, and sent expresses
1777. m every direction. Arnold, who had been sent by Wash-
ington some months before to prepare defences at Provi-
dence and obtain recruits, happened to be in New Haven
when the express arrived with the intelligence of the in-
road. He hastened with some volunteers to join Gen-
erals Wooster and Silliman, whose forces amounted to
about six hundred militia; and the whole company moved
after the marauders.
Try on, who had marched all night, reached Danbury
on the afternoon of the twenty-sixth. He commenced
at once to destroy the magazines of stores. Although
the inhabitants had abandoned their homes at his ap-
proach, he permitted his soldiers to burn almost every
house in the village. By morning the work of destruc-
tion was complete. The militia were approaching, and
the marauders were compelled to run the gauntlet to
their ships, twenty miles distant.
The Americans were separated into two divisions, one
under Wooster, the other under Arnold; while the former
was to harass the enemy in the rear, the latter was to
make a stand at a convenient point in advance and ob-
struct their progress.
The brave Wooster, though sixty-eight years of age,
led forward his men with great spirit. When they, un-
used to war, faltered in the face of the enemy's musketry
and artillery, he rode to the front and cheered them.
"Come on, my boys," cried he, "never mind such random
shots." At that moment a musket-ball pierced his side,
and he fell from his horse mortally wounded. His sol-
diers now retreated in confusion.
Arnold had made a stand at Ridgefield, two miles be-
yond the spot where Wooster fell, and while the enemy
was delayed by this skirmishing, he had thrown up a
barricade or breastwork. He acted with his usual daring,
DEATH OF GENERAL WOOSTER. 45 i
but after a spirited resistance his little force was over- chap.
powered by numbers and driven back. As he was bring-
ing off the rear-guard his horse was shot under him; 1777 *
before he could disengage himself from the struggling
animal a Tory rushed up with a fixed bayonet and cried
out, "You are my prisoner." "Not yet," replied Arnold,
as he coolly levelled his pistol and shot him dead. He
then escaped, rallied his men, and renewed the attack.
The determined resistance of the militia retarded the
British so much that they were forced to encamp for the
night. The next day they were greeted with the same April
galling fire from behind trees, fences, and houses, which
continued until they came within range of the guns of
their ships. They speedily embarked, fain to escape the
rifles of the exasperated yeomanry.
General Wooster was conveyed to Danbury, where
he died surrounded by his family. His loss was greatly
deplored by the patriots. A neat monument in the
cemetery of that place now marks his grave.
When Congress learned of the gallant conduct of
Arnold, they commissioned him a major-general and pre-
sented him with a horse richly caparisoned. Yet even
this tardy acknowledgment of his military merit was
marred, — the date of his commission still left him below
his proper rank. He seemed to feel this second slight
more keenly than the first.
The Americans resolved to retaliate in kind, and Col-
onel Return Jonathan Meigs, of Connecticut, with one
hundred and seventy men, passed over the Sound to the
east end of Long Island. They carried their boats during
the night fifteen miles across the neck, launched them May
on the bay, passed over to Sag Harbor, and destroyed a 24,
great amount of provisions and forage collected there for
the British. In addition, they burned twelve vessels,
452 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, took ninety prisoners, and returned without losing a man,
— ' having passed over ninety miles in twenty-five hours.
1777. Though strenuous efforts were made to obtain recruits,
the smallness of the American army still continued; want
of funds crippled every measure. At the instance of
Washington, Congress declared that those redemptioners
or indented servants who enlisted in the army should,
by that act, become freemen; and bounties in land were
offered the Hessians to induce them to desert.
Meanwhile General Schuyler labored with great zeal
in the Northern Department. But his feelings were se-
verely tried by the aspersions which his enemies cast upon
his character and conduct of affairs. In the autumn of
1776 he wrote: "I am so sincerely tired of abuse, that I
will let my enemies arrive at the completion of their wishes
as soon as I shall have been tried ; and attempt to serve
my injured country in some other way, where envy and
detraction will have no temptation to follow me." But
Congress would not accept his resignation. During the
winter he made repeated appeals to the Commander-in-
chief for reinforcements and supplies, which, for want of
means, could not be sent. There were but six or seven
hundred men atTiconderoga; Carleton,he thought, might
cross Lake Champlain on the ice and attack them; if
successful, he might follow out his original plan and push
on to Albany. As the abuse of which Schuyler com-
plained was continued, early in April he proceeded to
Philadelphia, and demanded of Congress a committee to
inquire into his conduct. Meantime General Gates had
been ordered to take command at Ticonderoga.
Schuyler's patriotism was not an impulse, not a matter
of mere words, nor did injustice rouse in his breast, as in
that of Arnold, the dark spirit of revenge. However, the
committee reported in his favor; and, with his character
and conduct fully vindicated, he returned to the charge
of the Northern Department. The ambitious Gates was
WASHINGTON AT THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON
NATIONAL FLAG. 453
deeply chagrined and disappointed; he had flattered him- chap.
self that Schuyler would never resume his command, and -
regarded himself as virtually his successor. Professing 1777 *
to be aggrieved, he hastened to Philadelphia to seek
redress at the hands of Congress.
The want of a national flag was greatly felt, especially
in the marine service. Congress adopted the " Union
Flag," with its thirteen stripes, but displaced the " Cross
of St. George," and substituted for it thirteen stars; to June °
which one star has. since been added for each additional
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
The Struggle excites an Interest in England and France. — Baron
De Kalb. — Privateers fitted out in France. — Negotiations for
Munitions of War. — Howe's Manoeuvres. — Burgoyne on his Way
from Canada. — Ticonderoga Captured. — St. Clair's Retreat to
Fort Edward. — Efforts to arrest the Progress of Burgoyne. —
Capture of General Prescott. — The Secret Expedition. — The
British Fleet puts to Sea. — The American Army at German-
town. — La Fayette. — Pulaski and Kosciusko. — Aid sent tr
Schuyler. — Howe lands at Elkton. — Battle of Brandyw*
Possession taken of Philadelphia. — Battle of Germantown. —
Hessians repulsed at Fort Mercer. — Winter Quarters at Valley
chap. The unfortunate result of the battle of Long Island; the
. ' loss of New York and Fort Washington; and the retreat
1777 - across New Jersey, were all significant of the weakness of
the patriot army. Intelligence of these disasters disheart-
ened the friends of the cause in Europe. Edmund Burke,
their firm friend, remarked that, although the Americans
had accomplished wonders, yet the overpowering forces to
be brought against them in the following campaign must
completely crush their hopes of independence. Said he :
"An army that is obliged, at all times and in all situa-
tions, to decline an engagement may delay their ruin, but
can never defend their country."
The intelligent portion of the people of France were
not indifferent spectators of this struggle; it was watched
with intense interest by her merchants, her manufacturers,
FRIENDS OF THE CAUSE IN EUROPE ENCOURAGED. 455
her statesmen. From the day on which Canada was chap
wrested from her, France had ardently hoped that her -'
proud rival might in turn lose her own American colonies. 1777 -
Ten years before the commencement of hostilities, Choi-
seul, the enlightened statesman and prime minister of
Louis XV, sent an agent through the colonies, to ascertain
the feelings of the people. That agent was Baron De Kalb,
the same who afterward so nobly served the cause in the
American army. He was indefatigable in " collecting
pamphlets, newspapers, and sermons," which he sent to
his employer. Choiseul gathered from them the proofs
that the British king and ministry, by their blindness and
injustice, were fast alienating the good will of their col-
onists; and he hoped by offering them, without restric-
tion, the commerce of France, to alienate them more and
more. Thus the minds of the French people and gov-
ernment were prepared to afford aid, but not under the
present aspect of affairs.
Early in the spring, intelligence reached Europe that
the American army, which was supposed to be broken
beyond recovery, had suddenly rallied, boldly attacked,
and driven the invaders out of New Jersey. It was
scarcely thought possible. How could a handful of ill-
disciplined, ill-armed yeomanry, so destitute of clothes
that some of them froze to death while on duty, and
others stained the snow with the blood that flowed from
their naked feet, meet and defeat a regular army?
Surely men who would thus cheerfully suffer deserved
independence! A thrill of enthusiasm was excited in
their favor. They were regarded as a nation of heroes,
and Washington, because of his prudence and skill, was
extolled as the American Fabius.
With the connivance of the government, American
privateers were secretly fitted out, and even permitted to
sell their prizes in French ports, in spite of the protests
456 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, of the British ambassador. The government itself secretly
— ' sent arms and military stores for the American army.
1777. This was done by means of a fictitious trading-house,
known as " Hortales and Company." These supplies were
to be paid for in tobacco sent by the way of the West
Indies. Soon after the battle of Lexington, secret nego-
tiations on the subject had been entered upon in London
by Beaumarchais, an agent of the French court, and Ar-
thur Lee, who for some years had resided in that city as
a barrister. The latter was a brother of Richard Henry
Lee, of Virginia, for which colony he had acted as agent
in England. The Secret Committee of Congress, in the
meantime, sent Silas Deane to Paris as an agent to obtain
supplies. Though Deane appeared in that city simply as
a merchant, he became on object of suspicion, and was
closely watched by British spies. Beaumarchais now
made arrangements with him to send three ships laden
with military stores to the United States. Unfortu-
nately two of these ships were captured by British cruis-
ers; the third, however, arrived opportunely to furnish
April, some of the regiments recently enlisted at Morristown.
Three months after the Declaration of Independence,
Doctor Franklin was sent to join Deane in France, and
thither Lee was also directed to repair. To these com-
missioners Congress delegated authority to make a treaty
of alliance with the French court. They were admitted
to private interviews by Vergennes, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, and encouraged, but the government was not yet
prepared to make an open declaration of its true senti-
The British ministry, by means of spies, obtained in-
formation of some of these proceedings. They imme-
diately issued letters of marque and reprisal against the
Americans, while Parliament cheerfully voted supplies
Feb. and men to prosecute the war.
Howe's movements — news from the north. 457
As the spring advanced, the enemy's movements were chap.
watched with anxious interest. That he might observe -1
them to better advantage, Washington, on the twenty- l77 ?*
eighth of May, removed his camp to the heights of Mid-
dlebrook, a strong and central position. Early in June, May.
Sir William Howe, who had received large reinforce-
ments, and supplies of tents and camp equipage, estab-
lished his headquarters at Brunswick, about ten miles
distant. He commenced a series of manoeuvres and made
a feint movement toward Philadelphia, in the hope of
drawing Washington from the heights into the open
plain, where British discipline might prevail; the latter
was too cautious to be thus entrapped, and Howe, foiled
in his attempt, retraced his steps to Brunswick. Pres-
ently he evacuated that place, and hastened with all speed
toward Amboy. Washington sent an advance party in
pursuit, but suspecting this move was also a feint, he
followed slowly with the main body. The suspicion was
just; Howe suddenly wheeled, and by a rapid movement
endeavored to turn the Americans' left, in order to gain
the passes and heights in their rear, but Washington saw
his object in time to gain his stronghold. Unable to
bring on an engagement, Howe in a few days withdrew
his forces to Staten Island. June
Just before this time, important news had been re- 20 *
ceived from the North. Burgoyne, who had succeeded
Sir Guy Carleton, was about to advance by way of Lake
Champlain, while a detachment under General St. Leger
and Sir John Johnson was to make its by Oswego to the
Mohawk River. On the very day that the British left
New Jersey, further intelligence came from St. Clair that
the enemy's fleet was actually approaching Ticonderoga,
where he was in command.
The force under Burgoyne was not precisely known;
it was, however, thought to be small, but in truth he had
a finely equipped army of nearly ten thousand men, four-
458 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, fifths of whom were regulars, British and Hessian; the
.' remainder Canadians and Indians. It was furnished with
1777 • one of the finest parks of field-artillery, under the com-
mand of General Phillips, who had acquired his great
reputation as an artillery officer in the wars of Germany.
He was also ably supported by the second in command,
General Fraser, an officer of great merit, and who was
characterized as the soul of the army. The Hessians
were under Baron Riedesel.
Near Crown Point, Burgoyne met the chiefs of the
Six Nations in council, and induced four hundred of their
June, warriors to join him. A few days later he issued a bom-
bastic proclamation, in which he threatened to punish the
patriots who would not immediately submit, and to let
loose upon them the Indians.
St. Clair, who had but three thousand men, wrote to
General Schuyler at Albany that he could not defend
Ticonderoga unless he had reinforcements, ending his let-
ter by saying: " Everything will be done that is practi-
cable to frustrate the enemy's designs; but what can be
expected from troops ill -armed, naked, and unac-
coutred?" Still unaware of the force of the enemy, he
trusted in his position, and that he could hold out for
There was an abrupt hill on the edge of the narrow
channel which connects Lakes Champlain and George.
This hill commanded Fort Ticonderoga, and also Fort
Independence, on the east side of Champlain. It was
thought by St. Clair and others to be absolutely inac-
cessible for artillery. But the "wily Phillips," acting on
the principle that " where a goat can go a man may go;
and where a man can go, artillery may be drawn up,"
suddenly appeared on this hill-top. For three days he
had been at work taking his cannon up the height, and
in twenty-four hours he would be ready to "rain iron
hail" on both the forts from his Fort Defiance.
burgoyne's advance — st. clair's retreat. 459
The Americans must now evacuate the forts, or be chap.
made prisoners. St. Clair chose the former. He could .'
only escape in the night, and his preparations must be 1777 -
made in the face of the enemy. The two hundred bateaux
were to be laden with stores, the women, the sick and
wounded, and sent up South River. St. Clair, with the
main body, was to pass to Fort Independence, and with
its garrison march through the woods to Skeenesborough,
now Whitehall. With the greatest secrecy and speed July
the arrangements were made; the boats, concealed by the
deep shadows of the mountains, were under way; the
main body had passed over the drawbridge to Independ-
ence, and was on its march, and the rear division was just
leaving Ticonderoga,when suddenly, about four o'clock in
the morning, the whole heavens were lighted up; a house
on Mount Independence was on fire, and its light revealed
the Americans in full retreat. Alarm guns and beating
of drums aroused the British. General Fraser was soon
in motion with his division, the abandoned forts were
taken possession of, and by daylight measures concerted
to pursue the fugitives both by land and water. Fraser
was to pursue St. Clair with his division, and General
Riedesel to follow with his Hessians, while Burgoyne him-
self sailed in his ships to overtake the American flotilla.
On the afternoon of the next day the flotilla reached
Whitehall; but scarcely were they landed when the roar-
ing of artillery told that the British gunboats had over-
taken the rear-guard of galleys. Presently, fugitives from
these brought intelligence that the British frigates had
landed Indians who were coming to cut off their retreat.
Everything was abandoned and set on fire; all took to
flight toward Fort Anne, at which place, after a most
harassing night-march, they arrived. The enemy appeared
the same day, but were held in check by sharp skirmish-
ing. The Americans thought this the vanguard of Bur-
goyne's army, and they set Fort Anne on fire and retreated
460 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, sixteen miles further to Fort Edward, where General
, ! Schuyler had just arrived with reinforcements.
1777 - General St. Clair continued his retreat, and at night
arrived at Castleton; his rear-guard, contrary to his ex-
press orders, stopped six miles short of that place. The
next morning the guard was startled by an attack from
Fraser's division, which had marched nearly all night.
At the first onset a regiment of militia fled, but the regi-
ments of Warner and Francis made a spirited resistance;
yet they were compelled to yield to superior numbers,
and make the best retreat they could. St. Clair, in the
meantime, pushed on through the woods; after seven
days he appeared at Fort Edward, with his soldiers wea-
ried and haggard from toil and exposure.
Schuyler sent at once a strong force to put obstruc-
tions in Wood Creek; to fell trees and break down the
bridges on the road from Fort Anne to Fort Edward.
This being the only road across that rough and thickly
wooded country, it took Burgoyne three weeks to remove
these obstructions and arrive at Fort Edward. The Brit-
ish hailed with shouts of exultation the Hudson — the
object of their toil. It would be easy, they thought, to
July force their way to Albany, in which place Burgoyne
boasted he would eat his Christmas dinner.
Schuyler now retreated to Saratoga. In these reverses
the loss of military stores, artillery, and ammunition was
immense, and the intelligence spread consternation
through the country. The American army under Schuy-
ler consisted of only about five thousand men, the ma-
jority of whom were militia; many were without arms,
while there was a deficiency of ammunition and provisions.
Just at this time a daring and successful adventure
mortified the enemy and afforded no little triumph to
American enterprise. The commanding officer at New-
port, General Prescott, famous for the arbitrary and
A BRITISH FLEET PUTS TO SEA. 461
contemptuous manner in which he treated the "rebels," chap.
offered a reward for the capture of Arnold, who replied to — .'.
the insult by offering half the sum for the capture of 1777 -
Prescott. It was ascertained, by means of spies, that the
latter was lodging at a certain house in the outskirts of
the town. On a dark night a company of select men,
with Colonel Barton at their head, crossed Narraganset Jul y ;
Bay in whale-boats, threading their way through the
British fleet. They secured the sentinel at the door,
burst into the house, and seized Prescott, who was in bed.
The astonished General only asked if he might put on his
clothes. " Very few and very quick," replied Barton.
He returned with his prisoner across the bay without
being discovered. This was a counterpart to the capture
of Lee, for whom Prescott was afterward exchanged.
The uncertainty as to the designs of the enemy was
perplexing. Washington learned from spies in New York
that Howe was preparing for an expedition by water, but
its destination was a profound secret. Burgoyne was evi-
dently pressing on toward the South, to obtain possession
of the Hudson. Did Howe intend to move up that river to
co-operate with him, and thus cut off the communication
between New England and the other States; to make an at-
tack on Boston, and thus employ the militia of those States
at home and prevent their joining Schuyler, or to endeavor
to reach Philadelphia by water? were questions difficult
to answer. In the midst of these speculations as to its
destination, the British fleet, on board of which were about
eighteen thousand men, under the command of Howe,
passed out through the Narrows and bore away. Intelli-
gence came in the course of ten days that it was seen off
Cape May, and Washington moved the army across the July
Delaware to German town, a few miles from Philadelphia.
Presently it was ascertained that the fleet had sailed
to the eastward. Was it to return to New York, or had
462 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, it sailed for Boston? Till the designs of the enemy were
^ ' more definitely known, the army was held in readiness to
1777 - march at a moment's notice.
While waiting for time to unravel these mysterious
movements of Sir William, Washington visited Philadel-
phia to consult with Congress, and to give directions for
the further construction of fortifications on the Dela-
ware, to prevent the enemy from ascending to the city.
Some months before, Arnold, after refusing the command
in the Highlands offered him by Washington to soothe
his wounded feelings, had accepted that in Philadelphia,
and with the aid of General Mifflin had already partially
The Duke of Gloucester, the brother of the king of
England, at a dinner given him by French officers in the
town of Mentz, had told the story, and the cause of the
rebellion then going on in America. A youth of nineteen
belonging to one of the noble families of France was a
listener. For the first time he heard of the Declaration
of Independence, and the full particulars of the struggle
for liberty then in progress in the colonies beyond the
Atlantic. His generous sympathies were enlisted; he
could appreciate the nobleness of their cause, and his
soul was fired with the desire to fly to their aid. Though
happily married, and blest with wealth, high social posi-
tion, and domestic joys, he was willing to leave them all
and risk his life in the cause of freedom. This young
man was the Marquis De Lafayette.
Though the French government was not prepared to
take a decided stand while the issue seemed doubtful, yet
this consideration, instead of checking, inflamed his ardor.
"Now I see a chance for usefulness which I had not an-
ticipated. I have money; I will purchase a ship, which
will convey to America myself, my companions, and the
freight for Congress." Such were his words; and he se-
LAFAYETTE — THE FOREIGN OFFICERS. 463
cretly purchased a vessel which Deane loaded with mili- chap.
tary stores, and, accompanied by eleven officers, among — — '.
whom was the Baron De Kalb, he sailed directly for the 1777 -
United States. He landed on the coast of South Carolina,
and proceeded at once to Philadelphia, to have an inter-
view with Congress. The number of foreign officers who
were applicants for employment in the army was so great
that Congress found difficulty in disposing of them.
Deane had been authorized to engage a few competent
officers, but he seems to have accepted all who applied;
and many came as adventurers, and "even some who
brought high recommendations were remarkable for noth-
ing but extravagant self-conceit and boundless demands
for rank, command, and pay." 1
But the earnest disinterestedness of Lafayette capti-
vated all hearts. Though he offered to serve as a volun-
teer without pay, Congress commissioned him a major-
general, but without any special command. A few days
after this, Washington and Lafayette met — names to be
ever linked in the annals of freedom. Congress also ac- Aug.
cepted the services of Count Pulaski, already famous for
his patriotic defence of his native Poland. His fellow-
countryman, Thaddeus Kosciusko — a youth of twenty-
one— afterward equally celebrated in fighting, though
unsuccessfully, for the liberties of the same Poland, was
already with General Schuyler, acting in the capacity of
It was now ascertained that Sir Henry Clinton, whom
Howe had left in command iu New York, had a force
sufficient not merely to penetrate up the Hudson and
co-operate with Burgoyne, but to send detachments and
create a diversion in favor of Howe in the vicinity of
Just at this time came urgent appeals from Schuyler,
1 Hildreth, vol. iii. p. 194.
464 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chaf. and Washington detached to his aid two brigades from
. the Highlands, and soon after Colonel Morgan with his
1777. riflemen, to counteract the Indians, of whom the militia
had a great dread. He had already sent Arnold, who
would be of special service in that region — the scene of
some of his brilliant exploits. Now he directed General
Lincoln, who was in Massachusetts, to repair thither with a
portion of the militia of that State, and sent an express to
Putnam to hold himself in readiness to repel any attack
from Clinton, and prevent his forming a junction with
Burgoyne. We will now leave the affairs in the North
till we have disposed of those connected with Howe's
In the midst of uncertainty, Washington was about to
issue orders for the army at German town to move toward
New York when an express brought him the intelligence
that the British fleet had passed into the Chesapeake.
The mystery was easily explained. Howe had learned of
the obstructions in the Delaware, and he now designed to
land his troops at the head of the Chesapeake, and march
thence to Philadelphia, while the fleet should return and,
in concert with the land forces, reduce the forts on the
Delaware. After being delayed some weeks by adverse
winds, his army was now landed at Elkton, about sixty
miles from Philadelphia. His first demonstration was to
issue another of his famous proclamations; again he of-
Aug. fered pardon to those rebels who would submit, and
25 - promised protection to those persons who would remain
peaceably at home.
The main body of the American army was still at
German town, where the militia, that had been called out,
had assembled. Washington was sadly deficient in men
and means to meet the British in open conflict; and there
were no hills in the region which he could occupy. He
had only eleven thousand effective men ; there was none
BATTLE OF BRANDYWIltfE. 465
of that enthusiasm which was then bringing the militia chap
in thousands to repel Burgoyne. The Quakers of Dela-
ware and Pennsylvania were at best but lukewarm in 1777 -
the cause, while the Germans wished to be neutral and
to avoid the expense.
Washington concentrated his army in the vicinity of
Wilmington, but after examining the country resolved to
fall back beyond the Brandywine creek, which was every-
where f ordable. The main road to Philadelphia crossed
the creek at Chadd's Ford. This, it was thought, would be
the main point of attack. A hill overlooking the ford had
been intrenched, and there Wayne was stationed with
the artillery. The right wing was commanded by Sulli-
van, who had just arrived with three thousand men from
Jersey; his division extended two miles up the creek.
The left wing, under General Armstrong — the same who
destroyed the Indian town of Kittaning — extended a mile
below, while General Greene, with the reserve, was sta-
tioned in the rear of the centre on the hills.
In the morning the enemy in heavy column was de- Sept.
scried moving toward Chadd's Ford. This division could
be only partially seen because of intervening woods, but
it appeared to be the main body of the enemy. Skir-
mishing soon commenced between the riflemen and the
enemy, who made several attempts to cross the ford, but
were as often repulsed.
Near mid-day a note from Sullivan stated he had heard
that Howe, with a large body of troops, was passing up
another road, with the intention of reaching the upper
fords of the creek, and then turning the right flank of the
Americans. Washington sent a company to reconnoitre.
In the meantime he determined to throw his entire force
on the enemy immediately in his front, and rout them be-
fore they could obtain assistance from the division march-
ing the other road; his orders were given for both wings
to co-operate. This would have been a skilful move and,
466 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxxn * n a ^ P r °bability , have secured the defeat of Knyphausen,
. who, with his Hessians, was in front.
1777 - At the moment Sullivan was complying with the
order, unfortunately Major Spicer came from the upper
fords and reported that there was no enemy in that
quarter. This information was transmitted to the Com-
mander-in-chief, who, in consequence, countermanded the
former order till he could receive further information.
After waiting some time a patriot of the neighborhood,
with his horse in a foam, dashed into the presence of
Washington, and declared that Howe was really passing
the fords and rapidly gaining the rear of the American
army. Washington replied that he had just heard there
was no enemy in that quarter. " You are mistaken, gen-
eral," exclaimed the excited countryman; "my life for
it, you are mistaken." And tracing the course of the
roads in the sand, he showed him the position. All doubts
were removed in a few minutes by the return of the party
sent to reconnoitre, with intelligence that a large body of
the enemy was fast gaining their rear.
Lord Cornwall is, led by Tory guides, had marched a
circuit of seventeen miles, and Knyphausen was merely
waiting at Chadd's Ford for that circuit to be accom-
Sullivan was ordered to oppose Cornwallis, and Greene,
with the reserve, to give aid where it might be needed.
Sullivan made a vigorous resistance, but was forced to fall
back to a piece of woods, in which the British became
entangled. The Americans rallied on a hill, and there
made a still firmer resistance, but were at length com-
pelled to fall back. Greene was now ordered to move to
their support, which he did with such rapidity that his
men marched, or rather ran, five miles in less than an
hour. Such was the skilful disposition of his soldiers
that they not only checked the enemy, but opened their
ranks and let the retreating Americans pass through.
AMERICANS RETREAT TO GERMANTOWN. 467
This brave conduct of the reserve saved Wayne's division chap.
from a complete rout. He had stubbornly withstood the
Hessians at the Ford, but when he saw the forces under 1777 -
Sullivan retreating, unable to cope with half the British
army, he gradually, and in order, fell back. The Hessians
were not disposed to press upon their determined foe.
Thus ended the battle of Brandywine. The Americans
were driven from the field, but the soldiers were not aware
that they had suffered a defeat; they thought they had
received only a check. Though some of the militia gave
way at once, the great majority fought bravely, met the
enemy in deadly conflict with the bayonet, and forced
them back; but at last numbers prevailed.
Lafayette behaved with great bravery and prudence;
he had leaped from his horse to rally the troops, when he
was severely wounded in the leg. Count Pulaski also
distinguished himself greatly — riding up within pistol-
shot of the enemy to reconnoitre. Congress promoted
him to the rank of brigadier-general, and gave him the
command of the horse.
Sir William Howe loved repose, and he did not press
his advantage, but remained two days encamped near
the field of battle.
During this time the Americans retreated first to
Chester, and on the twelfth safely crossed the Schuylkill,
and thence proceeded to German town; there Washington
let them repose a day or two. They were in good spirits;
he prepared to meet the enemy again, and with this in-
tention crossed the river. About twenty-five miles from Sept.
Philadelphia the two armies met, but a furious storm pre-
vented a conflict. The rain so much injured the arms and
ammunition that Washington deemed it prudent once
more to recross the river and retire to Pott's Grove,
about thirty miles from Philadelphia. General Wayne
was detached in the meanwhile with fifteen hundred men
to secretly gain the rear of the British army, and cut off
468 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, their baggage; but a Tory carried information of the
enterprise, and Wayne himself was surprised, and after
* 777 - the loss of three hundred men forced to retreat.
20. When it seemed certain that the city must fall into
the hands of the British, the military stores were re-
moved and a contribution levied upon the inhabitants
for blankets, clothes, shoes, and other necessaries for the
army during the approaching winter.
It was a time of great danger, and Congress again
clothed Washington with absolute power, first for sixty
days, and soon after for double that period. This done,
that body adjourned, first to Lancaster, and then in a
few days to York, beyond the Susquehanna.
Howe, by a night march, was enabled to pass the
Schuylkill; he then pushed on a detachment which took
Sept. possession of Philadelphia, while the main body of his
22 - army halted at German town.
Though the city was in the hands of the enemy, the
Americans still held possession of the forts on the lower
With much exertion, Admiral Howe had brought the
fleet round from the Chesapeake and anchored it below
the forts. Fort Mifflin was situated on a low mud island
at the confluence of the Schuylkill and the Delaware.
Directly opposite, at Red Bank, on the Jersey shore, was
Fort Mercer. These were furnished with heavy cannon.
Heavy timbers framed together, with beams projecting
and armed with iron spikes, were sunk in the river by
means of weights; in addition to these obstructions were
floating batteries above.
Washington, having learned from intercepted letters,
that a detachment had left German town to aid the fleet
in an attack on these forts, resolved to surprise the re-
mainder. After a night's march of fourteen miles, he
entered Germantown at sunrise. A dense fog concealed
BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. 469
the outskirts of the town, and he was unable to learn the chap.
precise position of the enemy, or that of his own troops. . .
The British, taken by surprise and thrown into confusion, 1777 -
gave way on all sides. The Americans, instead of pur-
suing their advantage, lingered to attack a strong stone
house, in which a few of the enemy had taken refuge,
when an unaccountable panic seized them : the complete Q ct
victory within their grasp was lost. The enemy now 4 -
rallied and attacked in their turn; but the Americans
retreated without loss, and carried off all their cannon
and their wounded.
Washington, in writing to Congress, says: "Every
account confirms the opinion I at first entertained, that
our troops retreated at the instant when victory was de-
claring herself in our favor." And such is the testimony
of many officers in their letters to their friends.
The effect of the bold attack upon Germantown was
soon perceptible in the spirit of the Americans. One
writes: " Though we gave away a complete victory, we
have learnt this valuable truth, that we are able to beat
them by vigorous exertions, and that we are far superior
in point of swiftness; we are in high spirits." Again we
find expressions of confidence of a different character.
An officer writes: " For my own part, I am so fully con-
vinced of the justice of the cause in which we are con-
tending, and that Providence, in its own good time, will
succeed and bless it, that were I to see twelve of the
United States overrun by our cruel invaders, I should still
believe the thirteenth would not only save itself, but
also work out the deliverance of the others."
Howe immediately withdrew his troops from Ger-
mantown. He must either obtain possession of the forts,
that his fleet might come up, or evacuate the city for
want of provisions. The Americans, on the other hand,
resolved to defend the forts to the last extremity. Howe
sent Count Donop, with twelve hundred picked men,
470 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, grenadiers, to make an assault on Fort Mercer, while the
~— — ' men-of-war should open on Fort Mifflin and the floating
1777. batteries. The outworks of Fort Mercer were not fully
22.' completed, when Count Donop suddenly appeared. Col-
onel Christopher Greene ordered the men — four hundred
Rhode Island Continentals — to keep out of sight as
much as possible. To deceive the enemy, he made a
short stand at the outer works, and then retreated rap-
idly to the inner redoubt. The enemy advanced in two
columns; the Americans received them with a brisk fire,
and then retreated in haste. The Hessians thought the
day their own, and with shouts of triumph rushed to
storm the inner redoubt. They were met by an over-
whelming discharge of grape-shot and musketry, and com-
pletely repulsed, with the loss of four hundred men; the
Americans lost but eight slain and twenty-nine wounded.
After the battle, as an American officer was passing among
the slain, a voice called out: " Whoever you are, draw
me hence." It was Count Donop. A few days after-
ward, when he felt his end approaching, he lamented his
condition. " I die," said he, " the victim of my ambi-
tion and of the avarice of my sovereign."
Fort Mifflin was commanded by Colonel Samuel
Smith, of Maryland. In their attack upon it the British
lost two men-of-war — one of which was blown up, the
Meantime the enemy received reinforcements from
New York, and were able to take possession of another
island, on which they erected batteries, and opened an
incessant fire upon Fort Mifflin. After a most undaunted
defence, both forts were abandoned, and the enemy left
j^" to remove the obstructions in the river at their leisure.
On the twenty-ninth Washington retired to White
Marsh, fourteen miles from Philadelphia. Before going
into winter-quarters, Howe thought to surprise his camp.
A Quaker lady, Mrs. Darrah, overheard some British
WINTER QUARTERS AT VALLEY FORGE. 471
officers speaking of the intended expedition; she imme- S^a?*
diately gave Washington information of what was going .
on. Preparations were made to give the British a warm 1777 -
reception. A company was sent to harass them on their
night-march. Finding themselves discovered, they hesi-
tated to press on. The next day, Howe labored to draw Dec
Washington into the plain, where British discipline might
be successful. When he saw the effort was useless, he
retired to Philadelphia.
Congress now summoned the militia to repair to the
main army. A few days after Howe's withdrawal from
Germantown, Washington also retired to winter-quarters
at Valley Forge, a rugged hollow on the Schuylkill, about
twenty miles from Philadelphia. He could thus protect
the Congress at York as well as his stores at Reading.
We now turn to relate events — most important in
their influence — which, during the last few months, had
transpired in the North.
THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
The Invasion from Canada. — Appointment of General Gates. —
Burgoyne's Advance. — Jenny McCrea. — St. Leger besieges Fort
Stanwix. — The Attempt to relieve it. — St. Leger retreats. —
Battle of Bennington. — Change of Prospects. — Battle of Beh-
mus's Heights. — Ticonderoga besieged. — Burgoyne surrenders
his Army at Saratoga. — The Prisoners. — Capture of Forts on
the Hudson. — Schuyler.
chap The unlooked for loss of Ticonderoga, with the disasters
that so rapidly followed, startled the people of the north-
1777. ern States more than any event of the war. So little did
Congress appreciate the difficulties under which Schuy-
ler and his officers labored, that they attributed these
misfortunes to their incapacity. John Adams, then Presi-
dent of the Board of War, gave expression to this feel-
ing when he wrote: " We shall never be able to defend a
post till we shoot a general." In the excitement of the
moment, Congress ordered all the northern generals to be
recalled and an inquiry instituted into their conduct.
The northern army would thus be without officers; but,
on a representation to this effect, Washington obtained
a suspension of the injudicious order. Clamors against
Schuyler were renewed with greater violence than ever.
In truth, many members of Congress were influenced by
an unreasonable prejudice which had been excited in New
England against him. When Washington, whose confi-
dence in Schuyler was unshaken, declined to make any
BURGOYNE'S PROCLAMATION — JENNY M'CREA. 473
change in the Northern Department, " Congress made vj&JU
the nomination; the Eastern influence prevailed, and — — -
Gates received the appointment, so long the object of 1777>
his aspirations, if not intrigues." !
The correspondence between Washington and Schuy-
ler makes known the plan upon which they agreed to
repel the invaders. This was to keep bodies of men on
their flank and rear, intercept their supplies, and cut off
the detachments sent from the main army. We shall
see how completely this plan succeeded.
Confident of subduing the " rebels," Burgoyne, on
his arrival at Fort Edward, issued a second proclamation,
in which he called upon the people to appoint deputies
to meet in convention at Castleton, and take measures to
re-establish the royal authority. To counteract this,
Schuyler issued a proclamation, threatening to punish
those as traitors who in this manner should aid the
enemy. Burgoyne's proclamation had no effect; the
hardy yeomanry were too patriotic. The whole north-
ern portion of the country was deeply moved, and the
militia rallied to arms.
The Indians of Burgoyne's army prowled about the
country, murdering and scalping. A beautiful girl, Jenny
McCrea, the daughter of a Scotch Presbyterian clergy-
man of New Jersey who died before the war, was visiting
a friend in the vicinity of Fort Edward. Her family were
Whigs; she was, however, betrothed to a young man,
David Jones, a Tory, who had gone to Canada some time
before, and was now a lieutenant in Burgoyne's army.
When Fort Edward was about to be abandoned, her
brother urged her to leave with the families of the neigh-
borhood, who were going out of danger to Albany. She
lingered; she hoped, perhaps, to see her lover, but as
1 Washington Irving.
474 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, danger drew nearer she prepared to comply with her
! brother's request.
1777 - At the moment of leaving, a band of Indians sent by
Burgoyne to harass the Americans burst into the house,
and carried her off a captive. Anxious for her safety, she
promised her captors a reward, if they would take her to
the British camp. On the way the Indians quarrelled as
to who should have the promised reward, and one of them
in a rage killed the poor girl, and carried off her scalp.
This murder sent a thrill of horror throughout the land.
The people remembered the murders of former days, when
the Indians were urged on by French influence; and now
they asked, Must those scenes be re-enacted by the sav-
age hirelings of England, our mother country? And they
flocked in thousands to repel such an enemy. Thus "the
blood of this unfortunate girl was not shed in vain. Ar-
mies sprang up from it. Her name passed as a note of
alarm along the banks of the Hudson; it was a rally-
ing word among the green mountains of Vermont, and
brought down all her hardy yeomanry." 1
St. Leger had passed up the Oswego, and was besieg-
Aue m & ^ort Stanwix, or Schuyler. This fort was on the
3. Mohawk, at the carrying-place to Lake Oneida. With
St. Leger was Sir John Johnson, with his Royal Greens,
and his savage retainers, the Mohawks, under the cele-
brated chief, Brant. This Brant had been a pupil in
Wheelock's school — since Dartmouth College — estab-
lished for the education of Indians and others. The fort
was held by two New York regiments, under Colonels
Gansevoort and Willet. General Herkimer raised the
militia of the neighborhood, and went to relieve the fort.
But owing to the impatience of his men, he fell into an
ambuscade of Tories and Indians. Johnson's Greens were
Tories from this vicinity, and neighbor met meighbor in
1 Washington Irving.
DEATH OF HERKIMER — RETREAT OF ST. LEGER. 475
deadly conflict. It was one of the most desperate en- JjjMft
counters of the war; quarter was neither given nor asked. "
There were instances, when all was over, where the death- 1777 -
grasp still held the knife plunged into a neighbor's heart.
It seems as if the fight had been presided over by demons.
The brave old Herkimer was mortally wounded, but lean-
ing against a tree, he continued to encourage his men, till
a successful sortie from the fort compelled the enemy to
defend their own camp. The Americans retreated, tak-
ing with them their worthy commander, who died a few
The fort was still in a precarious condition, and must
be relieved. When intelligence of this came to the army,
Arnold volunteered to march to its aid. To frighten the
Indians he employed stratagem. He sent in advance
the most exaggerated stories of the number of his men,
and proclaimed that Burgoyne had been totally defeated.
As anticipated, the Indians deserted in great numbers.
The panic became so great that, two days before Arnold
arrived at the fort, St. Leger had retreated, leaving his
tents standing. Aug.
General Schuyler now moved from Saratoga down to
the mouth of the Mohawk, and there intrenched himself.
The British had the full command of Lake George; but,
with all their exertions, they were nearly out of provi-
sions. The distance from the upper end of that lake to
the Hudson was only eighteen miles, but so effectively
had the draft-cattle and horses been removed that it
seemed almost impossible to transport their baggage.
To obtain horses for a company of dismounted Ger-
man dragoons and seize stores collected at Bennington,
Vermont, Burgoyne sent a detachment of Indians and
Tories, and five hundred Germans, under Lieutenant-
colonel Baum. He had been told that the grain and pro-
visions deposited in that place were but poorly guarded.
476 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. He was also made to believe that five to one of the people
- — ' were royalists.
1777. it was soon noised abroad that the enemy were on
the way, and the Green Mountain Boys began to assem-
ble. Colonel Stark having been slighted, as he thought,
at the recent appointment of officers by Congress, had
withdrawn from the Continental army. He was invited
to take command of the assembling yeomanry; he ac-
cepted the invitation with joy. Expresses were sent in
every direction to warn the people to drive off their
cattle and horses, and conceal their grain and wagons,
and also to Manchester, for Seth Warner to hasten to
Bennington with his regiment.
When Baum — who moved very slowly, his men stop-
Aue P* n & in ^ e wo °d s ever Y f ew minutes to dress their lines —
14. was within six miles of Bennington, he heard of Stark's
approach; he halted, began to intrench, and sent to Bur-
goyne for reinforcements. Colonel Breyman was sent to
his aid, with five hundred Hessians and two field-pieces.
A severe storm prevented Stark from making an attack,
and also retarded the march of Breyman and Warner.
During the night the Berkshire militia joined Stark. An
incident may show the spirit of the times: " Among
these militia was a belligerent parson, full of fight, Allen
by name, possibly of the bellicose family of the hero of
Ticonderoga." 1 " General," cried he, " the people of
Berkshire have been often called out to no purpose; if
you don't give them a chance to fight now they will never
turn out again." " You would not turn out now, while
it is dark and raining, would you? " demanded Stark.
" Not just now," was the reply. " Well, if the Lord
should once more give us sunshine, and I don't give you
fighting enough," rejoined the veteran, " I'll never ask
you to turn out again."
BATTLE OF BENNINGTON" — CHANGE OP PR0SPE0T6. 477
The next morning the sun did shine, and Stark drew J3*ap.
out his forces. When he came in sight of the enemy, -
turning to his men he exclaimed: " There are the red- 1777 -
coats! We must beat to-day or Molly Stark's a widow." 16.
The attack was made in both rear and front at the same
time. The Indians and Tories generally fled to the woods.
Baum defended his lines with great determination, and
his field-pieces were well manned, but after two hours'
fighting the works were stormed. The Americans had
no artillery, but they rushed up within a few yards of the
enemy's cannon, the better to take aim at the gunners.
At length Baum fell mortally wounded, and his men sur-
Scarcely was the battle ended, when Breyman appeared
on the one side, and Warner, who had marched all night
in the rain, on the other. The fighting was renewed, and
continued till night. Favored by the darkness, Breyman
left his artillery and made the best of his way back to Bur-
goyne. About two hundred of the enemy were slain and
six hundred taken prisoners. A thousand stand of arms
and four pieces of artillery fell into the hands of the Amer-
icans, who had but fourteen killed and forty wounded.
What a change a few weeks had produced in the pros-
pects of the two main armies! To the Americans the
militia were flocking, the brigades from the Highlands
had arrived, and Morgan with that terror of the Indians,
his riflemen, five hundred strong. Disasters, in the mean-
while, crowded upon Burgoyne. The side enterprises of
St. Leger and Baum had failed; the New Hampshire and
Massachusetts troops were pressing on toward Ticon-
deroga to cut off his supplies and intercourse with Canada.
The Indians, in great numbers, were deserting. They
had taken umbrage because their atrocities were to be
hereafter restrained. Burgoyne was a gentleman, hu-
mane and cultivated; he abhorred these outrages, and,
to his honor be it said, preferred that the savages should
478 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, leave his army rather than they should remain and be
— ' unrestrained. The disgrace of employing them belongs
1777. to his government at home, not to him.
It was at this juncture that Gates arrived to take
command. He found the army in high spirits, nearly
Sept. s i x thousand in number, and increasing every day.
Schuyler met him with his usual highminded courtesy,
explained fully the condition of the two armies, and
offered him all the assistance he could give, by his coun-
sel or otherwise. So little could Gates appreciate such
generous impulses that, a few days after, when he called
his first council of war, he omitted to invite Schuyler.
Leaving the islands at the mouth of the Mohawk,
Gates moved up the river and took position on Behmus's
Heights — a ridge of hills extending close to the river-bank
and lying nearly east of Saratoga. There he intrenched
his army by strong batteries on the right and left.
Burgoyne had thrown a bridge of boats over the Hud-
son, and led over the English portion of his army to Sara-
toga, while the Hessians remained on the eastern side.
Both divisions moved slowly down the river. There were
deep ravines and woods between the two armies, and
knolls covered with dense forests; also, in one place, a
cleared field. On the nineteenth it was announced that the
enemy were in motion toward the American left. Here
Arnold commanded, while Gates took charge of the right.
It was the intention of the British to draw the Americans
in that direction and then to make an assault on their
centre, when thus weakened, and cut their way through
to Albany. Gates designed to wait the attack in his
camp, but Arnold wished to hold the enemy in check, and
not permit them to turn the American left. After much
solicitation, he obtained permission from Gates to send
Morgan with his riflemen to check the enemy. The rifle-
men soon met, and put to flight the advance-guard, but
pursuing them with too much ardor, they came upon a
BATTLE OF BEHMUS'fi HEIGHTS. 479
strong column, and were themselves forced to fall back in <3*ap.
confusion. Arnold now came to their aid with other regi-
ments, and soon he was contending almost hand to hand 1777 -
with the entire British right wing. He sent repeatedly
to Gates for reinforcements, which the latter refused to
send, and excused himself on the ground that he would
thus weaken his own wing; and Arnold, with only three
thousand men, was left for four hours to sustain the at-
tack. The severest conflict was around, and in the open
field. The Americans were posted on the one side in a ^P**
dense wood, where cannon could not be used; the British
on the opposite side in a thin pine grove, where they could
use their artillery. When the British would move into
the field, the American riflemen would drive them back,
and when the Americans became the pursuers, the British
would sweep their ranks with their cannon. A dozen
times this field was lost and won. The riflemen repeat-
edly took possession of the British artillery, but the rough-
ness of the ground would not permit them to secure the
guns; and before they could turn them, they themselves
were driven off at the point of the bayonet. Night ended
the contest; the Americans withdrew to their camp, and
the British remained on the field of battle. The latter
lost more than five hundred, while the Americans lost
less than three hundred. They looked upon the result
as a triumph; they had accomplished all they intended,
and the enemy had failed in their designs.
Two days before the battle of Behmus's Heights, a
detachment of Lincoln's militia, under Colonel Brown,
had seized the posts at the outlet of Lake George; also
a fleet of bateaux laden with provisions for Burgoyne's
army, and three hundred prisoners. The same party
united with another, and laid siege to Ticonderoga.
Burgoyne's intercourse with Canada was thus cut off;
his provisions were fast diminishing, and his horses were
dying for want of forage. At this moment of darkness
480 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, came a gleam of light — a note from Sir Henry Clinton —
. ' informing him that in a few days he would make an effort
1777 - to ascend the Hudson. In hopes of maintaining his posi-
tion until Clinton could relieve him, Burgoyne began to
fortify his camp. For nearly three weeks the two armies
watched each other. Almost every day advanced parties
skirmished, but as Gates was deficient in ammunition,
he hesitated to attack.
Meantime there was trouble in the American camp.
The soldiers attributed the success of the late battle to
the generalship of Arnold. But for some reason, jealousy
perhaps, Gates removed him from his command.
Hearing nothing further from Clinton, Burgoyne re-
solved to risk a battle, and cut his way through the oppos-
ing force. He therefore sent a detachment of fifteen
hundred picked men to take position within a mile of the
Oct. American lines. A New Hampshire brigade attacked
this division furiously, and Morgan, with his riflemen,
managed to cut them off from their camp.
Arnold was in his tent, brooding over the treatment
he had received, and had almost resolved to leave the
army. Suddenly he heard the noise of battle; his ruling
passion was instantly on fire. Mounting his horse, he rode
with all speed to the scene of conflict. Gates, who saw
him as he dashed away, exclaimed: " He will do some
rash thing," and sent after him orders, by Major Wilkin-
son, to return; but in vain, — Arnold heard only the roar
of battle. He rushed into the thickest of the fight, cheered
on the men, who answered him with shouts of recognition.
To those looking on, he seemed insane. By his exertions
the British lines were broken again and again, but as often
General Frazer would rally his men and renew the conflict.
Presently Frazer fell mortally wounded by one of Morgan's
riflemen. The whole line gave way, abandoned their can-
non, and with the greatest effort regained their camp. In
burgoyne's surrender. 481
spite of a shower of grape and musketry, the Americans J^^
rushed headlong to the assault. Arnold rode directly into '
a sally-port, where his horse was shot under him, and he 1777 *
himself was severely wounded — a ball had shattered his
leg. His men now fell back. A regiment of Massachu-
setts men, more fortunate, forced their way through the
German intrenchments, and maintained their position for
the night, and secured a large amount of ammunition.
The Americans slept on their arms, intending to renew
the contest in the morning. But when morning came,
Burgoyne's army, drawn up in order of battle, appeared
on the heights in the rear. During the night he had
abandoned his sick and wounded, and skilfully led off his
men. The next day he retreated to Saratoga, six miles
distant. It was to cover this retreat that he ordered
General Schuyler's mansion and extensive saw mills to be
burned. That he might continue his retreat, he sent a
party to repair the bridges toward Fort Edward, but they
found the way occupied by the Americans, who had taken
nearly all the boats laden with provisions for his army.
All the passes by which he could extricate himself were
in the hands of his enemy; cannon-balls and bullets fell
almost every moment in his camp. He had only three
day's provisions; his effective force was reduced to four
thousand men, and they were dispirited, worn out with
hunger and fatigue» Not a word had he heard from Clin-
ton, while the American aimy, already twelve thousand
strong, was increasing daily.
Burgoyne now called a council of war, which resolved
to open negotiations with General Gates. Having heard
that Clinton, a few days previous, had succeeded in taking Oct
two of the forts on the Hudson, and that he might possi- 13 *
bly reach Albany, Gates was disposed to make liberal
terms. The conditions of the surrender were: That the
British army should march out with the honors of war;
that the soldiers should be taken to Boston, and thence
482 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, to England; and they were not to serve against the
I United States until exchanged. The number of prisoners
1777. was about six thousand; the arms, artillery, and military
stores were immense. The German regiments saved their
colors; they took them off their staves, and concealed
them among the baggage of the Baroness de Riedesel. 1
The British garrison of Ticonderoga evacuated that place
and retired to Canada.
Congress refused to ratify the terms under which Bur-
goyne surrendered. His soldiers, if taken to England,
would doubtless be placed in garrison, while those thus
relieved would be sent to reinforce Clinton at New York.
Only Burgoyne himself, with two attendants, was per-
mitted to proceed to England, while the soldiers were
retained as prisoners. The following year they were
marched to Charlottesville, in Virginia, where they were
quartered in log huts, and where the greater number of
them remained till the close of the war.
As has been already stated, the garrisons in the High-
lands were much weakened, by sending detachments both
to the North and to the South. Sir Henry Clinton had
received the long expected reinforcements from England,
and he now proposed to force his way up the Hudson, in
order to unite with Burgoyne. On the day before that
general's last battle, Clinton attacked and captured the
q ' Forts Montgomery and Clinton. Though the New York
militia turned out well, the forts could not be maintained.
Governor George Clinton commanded. He sent to Put-
nam for aid, which he would have received had not the
messenger turned traitor, and deserted to the enemy.
Under the directions of Governor Tryon, Kingston, or
Esopus, was burned. When these marauders heard that
1 This lady accompanied her husband, Baron de Riedesel, during
this campaign. She has left a thrilling narrative of the trying scenes
SCHUYLER A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. 483
Burgoyne had surrendered they retreated, setting fire to J^&
every house within reach. This was about the very time '
that Burgoyne and his army were receiving liberal terms 1777 -
General Gates, in transmitting his report of the sur-
render, did not send it to the Commander-in-chief, as was
his duty, and as courtesy required, but sent it directly to
Congress. The soldiers in the army attributed the success
of the battles at Saratoga to the skilful management of
Arnold and Morgan. Gates did not even mention their
names in his full dispatches to Congress.
Soon after, General Schuyler insisted that his man-
agement of the Northern Department, previous to the
appointment of Gates, should be investigated.
A Court of Inquiry was instituted, and he was not
only acquitted of the charge of mismanagement of any
kind, but with the highest honor. Though strongly urged
by Congress to remain in the army, he declined. He had
too much self-respect to continue in a position where he
could be made a victim of unfriendly prejudice, yet too
patriotic to relinquish his country's cause. Soon after
he took his seat as a member of Congress.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
Sufferings at Valley Forge. — England disappointed; conciliatory
measures of Parliament. — The War presses hard upon the
American People. — Difficulties and Jealousies in Congress. —
The "Conway Cabal." — Baron Steuben. — Attempt to increase
the Army. — Congress in Want of Funds. — Exchange of Lee;
his Treason. — Treaty with France. — Encouragements. — British
Commissioners. — Philadelphia evacuated. — Battle of Monmouth.
— Misconduct of Lee. — The French Fleet. — Combined attack
upon Newport fails. — Marauding Expeditions. — A British Fleet.
— Massacre at Wyoming and Cherry Valley. — Invasion of
xxxFv ^ HE surren der of Burgoyne revived the hopes of the
■ Whigs and sent dismay into the ranks of the Tories.
1778. rphg American soldiers suffered intensely in their rude
huts at Valley Forge. For days at a time without meat,
and again without bread; no medicines for the sick, nor
comfortable lodgings. Many of the soldiers were so defi-
cient in clothes that they could not lie down, lest they
should freeze to death, but were forced to sit round their
These were the men, few of whose names have ever
reached us, but who clung to their country's cause in this
hour of suffering, and who, in the day of battle, poured
out their life's blood. They were, for the most part, the
intelligent yeomanry of the land; from the farm, from the
workshop, from the merchant's store; supporters of their
own families, or sustainers of orphan brothers and sisters.
What a contrast with the common soldiers of the invad-
THE FRIENDS OF AMERICA IN PARLIAMENT. 485
ing army! They were, in part, the enlisted rabble of the c hap.
British Isles. In their bosoms there was not a throb of 1
generous feeling, nor with them was it a question in what 1778 -
cause, or on what field they fought; and yet in the same
army were others, even more degraded, drawn from "the
shambles of petty German despots."
The king and ministry were sanguine their plans, so
wisely laid, would be successfully carried out; that at the
end of the campaign the American army would be broken
and scattered; that they would have a line of posts ex-
tending from Lake Champlain to the Bay of New York.
Instead of the realization of these hopes, intelligence came
that Burgoyne had surrendered his entire army. The
sensation produced in England was great indeed. Rumors
stole into the country that France, their ancient enemy,
was about to aid the Americans; that Holland was about
to loan them money. England's pride was touched.
Should she, who had made all Europe tremble, be baffled
in her efforts to subdue her revolted colonists? A new
spirit was awakened; many of the large commercial towns
offered to raise regiments to supply the places of those
surrendered at Saratoga, and present them to the king.
Yet there were others, moved by compassion, and it may
be by sympathy for the cause, who liberally subscribed
money to relieve the wants of the American prisoners in
England, whom the government had left to suffer for the
necessaries of life.
These sentiments had their effect on Parliament, and
when it assembled, the friends of America renewed their
assaults upon the policy of the king. They, from the
first, had opposed the war as unjust, and had opposed
the enlisting of Hessians; but more especially did they
denounce the inhuman policy of employing savages to
murder and scalp their brethren beyond the Atlantic.
There were other causes of complaint. The merchants
486 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap clamored for redress; the American trade was broken up;
debts could not be collected; especially were they ag-
1778. grieved that the slave-trade had been reduced four-fifths.
American cruisers had already seized nearly six hundred
of their vessels. These cruisers swarmed to such an
extent, even in the British seas, that it became necessary
to convoy by armed ships merchant vessels from one port
of the kingdom to another. More than twenty thousand
men had perished in the war; more than a hundred mil-
lions of dollars had been expended; their expectations
had been greatly raised, but as yet nothing was gained.
Lord North was constrained to bring in two bills, by
which the king hoped to reconcile his American subjects.
On this occasion, the former declared in the House that
he himself had always been opposed to taxing the col-
onies. The king, in truth, was the prime mover and
Bustainer of the measure. One of these bills exempted
the Americans from taxation, the other appointed com-
missioners to negotiate with them, for the purpose of
restoring the royal authority. Thus was yielded, but
ungraciously, the whole ground of the contest.
The moment the French government heard of the
passage of these bills, it proposed to acknowledge the In-
dependence of the United States, and to make with them
a treaty offensive and defensive. That the belligerents
should fight and weaken each other, France was willing,
but rather than they should become reconciled, she de-
clared for the Americans.
Though the war had cost England much, it had cost
the Americans more. In many portions of the country,
their ruthless invaders had laid waste their cultivated
fields; in other portions they were unsown, because the
husbandmen were in the army; property was wasting
away; debts were accumulating, with no prospect of pay-
ment. The Bills of Credit issued by Congress were almost
THE EMBARRASSMENTS OF CONGRESS. 487
worthless. As with individuals, so with the State; both chap
were bankrupt. On the sea-board, foreign commerce, the
coasting trade, and the fisheries were carried on at such 1778 -
risks as to be almost annihilated. Nine hundred vessels
had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The loss of life
had been great; not so many had perished on the field of
battle, but disease, the deficiency of necessary comforts in
hospitals, the want of clothes and of wholesome food, had
as effectively done the work of death. Multitudes died
miserably, either in the jails and loathsome prison-ships
of the enemy, or contracted diseases which clung to them
through life. These calamities, instead of depressing the
patriots, roused their indignant spirits to more determi-
nation. They would listen to no terms of reconciliation
with England, short of absolute independence.
Congress was embarrassed more and more. That
noble spirit of conciliation and mutual forbearance which
distinguished the members of the Old Congress was not
so prominent. Many of the ablest members had retired
to take part in the recently organized governments of
their own States, or to attend to their private affairs,
lest their families should come to want; and some had
been sent on foreign missions, and some were in the army.
There were other difficulties; jealousies between
northern and southern men still existed in the army,
and jealousies between American officers and some of
those of foreign birth. Congress, now numbering not
more than twenty or thirty members, manifested an un-
due prejudice against the army, because the officers and
soldiers earnestly urged that their wants should be sup-
plied. Washington protested against this spirit, and
showed the unreasonableness of such a prejudice. After
remarking that in other countries the army was looked
upon with suspicion in time of -peace, he adds: " It is our
policy to be prejudiced against them (the troops) in time
488 HI8T0ET OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxxfv °* waT} though t nev are citizens, having all the ties and
interests of citizens." In violation of military usage,
1778 - and contrary to his advice, Congress made several pro-
motions in the army which not only slighted but wronged
some of its best and bravest officers.
While Washington labored at Valley Forge to keep
the army together, and to prevent its disbanding from
sheer necessity, a few were intriguing to remove him from
the command. Some members of Congress, a few officers,
and perhaps some others joined in what was known as the
"Conway Cabal," a name derived from the Irish adven-
turer already mentioned, who, if not the prime mover in
the plot, was a pliant tool of others. The whole truth on
the subject can never be fully known, as each actor ever
after desired to conceal the part he had taken in the affair.
By means of anonymous letters, underhand appeals, de-
signed to seduce the officers of the army, and other dis-
honorable measures, the attempt was made to defame
Washington; to draw invidious comparisons between his
military successes and those of Gates; and to destroy
that confidence which the people and soldiers reposed in
his integrity. They dared not attack him openly, but by
these means they hoped to disgust him with his office
and induce him to resign; and General Gates, their hero,
would receive the appointment of Commander-in-chief.
Thus the intrigue was carried on for months. General
Mifflin and Gates himself were prominent in the scheme,
but their efforts to win over Lafayette signally failed.
Anonymous letters were sent to Henry Laurens, President
of Congress, and to Patrick Henry, then Governor of Vir-
ginia; but these high-minded men forwarded them at
once to the Commander-in-chief. Washington himself,
though he knew to some extent of the existence of these
plots, never publicly noticed them, nor turned aside a mo-
ment from his great work. He was only anxious lest the
THE CONWAY CABAL. 489
*nemy should learn of these dissensions. But when it chap.
was proposed in Congress to appoint Conway inspector of
the army he remonstrated, and in writing to Richard 1778 -
Henry Lee, then a member, he says: " General Conway's
merit as an officer and his importance in this army exist
more in his own imagination than in reality." Yet Con-
gress, under the influence of the Cabal, appointed Con-
way " Inspector of the Armies of the United States!"
— with the rank of major-general.
Ere long intelligence of these intrigues stole abroad.
So great was the indignation which burst forth from the
officers and soldiers, from the Legislatures of the States,
and from the people themselves, that the Cabal cowered
The effect of this abortive attempt to remove Wash-
ington from the chief command was only to strengthen his
hold on the confidence of the nation. The invidious com-
parisons made between his successes and those of Gates
were unjust, but that some persons should be influenced
by them is not strange. "The Washington of that day
was not Washington as we know him, tried and proved
by twenty years of the most disinterested and most suc-
cessful public services." The capture of Burgoyne at
Saratoga was due to his plan of defence, as concerted with
Schuyler, and not to General Gates. In his effort to save
Philadelphia he was surrounded with almost insurmount-
able difficulties. His army, ill-equipped and imperfectly
disciplined, was smaller than that of Howe's; the scene
of operation was in a region filled with Tories, who gave
every facility to the British. He says himself: " Had the
same spirit pervaded the people of this and the neighbor-
ing States, as the States of New York and New England,
we might have had General Howe nearly in the same
situation of General Burgoyne."
We may here anticipate. Conway found his position
490 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, unenviable, and he sent to Congress a note complaining
' that he had been ill-treated, and intimated that he would
1778. resign because he was ordered to the Northern Depart-
ment. His self-complacency never doubted but he would
be urged to remain as " Inspector." But Congress,
ashamed of having ever appointed him, interpreted it as
a resignation, and gladly accepted it. No explanation
of Conway, though urged in person, could induce them
to change their decision. Some time afterward he was
wounded in a duel with General Cadwallader, who had
charged him with cowardice at the battle of German-
town, and also of derogatory remarks in relation to the
Commander-in-chief. When he thought himself near
death, Conway wrote to Washington: " You are in my
eyes the great and good man. May you long enjoy the
love, veneration, and esteem of these States, whose liber-
ties you have asserted by your virtues." He recovered
from his wound, and soon after he left the country.
During the winter at Valley Forge every effort was
made to increase the army and make it more efficient.
To accomplish this end, Baron Steuben, a Prussian officer
of great merit as a disciplinarian, was appointed In-
spector, with the rank of major-general. Congress called
upon all the States, except Georgia and South Carolina,
for their quotas of men to the Continental army. These
States were excused, except for local defence, in consid-
eration of their large slave population. Several inde-
pendent bodies of horse were raised by Count Pulaski
and Henry Lee, who, because of his success and genius as
a commander of light-horse, was known in the army as
Baron Steuben soon infused his own spirit into the
officers and men. He was prompt, and they obeyed him
with alacrity. The tactics were taught by system, and
the result was very gratifying. Congress designed to raise
FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES. 491
the army to sixty thousand, but it really never reached Sg£&
more than half that number. Many of the more expe- '
rienced officers were compelled by necessity to resign; 1778 -
their families were dependent upon them, and they re-
ceived scarcely any pay. These resignations were unfor-
tunate. Washington appealed to Congress in behalf of
the officers and also of the soldiers. That body promised
half pay for seven years to those officers who should serve
to the end of the war, and to the soldiers thus serving a
gratuity of eighty dollars. But the treasury was empty;
new bills of credit were issued, and the several States were
called upon to levy taxes for the public expenses; but
the States were poor, and some of them were negligent.
Their bills of credit continued to lose their value; and, to
increase the evil, the British and Tories flooded the coun-
try with counterfeits. The depreciation became so great
that a pair of boots cost more than seven hundred dollars
in some of these bills of credit. Yet it shows the patriot-
ism of the great mass of the people that, at this time of
despondency and distress, the British, with their prom-
ises of gold and protection, could induce only three thou-
sand five hundred Tories to enlist in their army.
The office of quartermaster had been held during the
last campaign by Mifflin; but he was seldom at his post,
and the department was in great confusion. Many diffi-
culties had grown out of this neglect; the army was ir-
regularly supplied with provisions and forage, while the
country people suffered much on account of the demands
made upon them for provisions by unauthorized foraging
parties. At the urgent request of Washington, Congress
appointed General Greene quartermaster. He assumed
the duties of the office, so irksome to him, for one year,
but without compensation. The system with which
Greene performed all his duties was soon apparent; the
army was regularly furnished with provisions and ammu-
492 HISTOKT OE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
xxxiv n ition, so that it could be ready to march at a few min-
April. General Lee was returned to the army in exchange for
General Prescott. Lee was as selfish as he was destitute
of the true nobleness of a man of honor. In a document
in his own handwriting, written when a prisoner in New
York, dated " March 29, 1777," and endorsed by Lord
and Sir William Howe as " Mr. Lee's plan," may be found
the evidence of his willingness to ruin the cause of
American Independence. In this elaborate plan he urged
with great earnestness upon the British ministry to send
a large force; part of which to take position at Alexan-
dria, on the Potomac, and part at Annapolis, on the
Chesapeake. Thus to separate the Northern and South-
ern colonies and prevent them from aiding each other,
while to oppose Burgoyne's advance would require all
the force that New England could raise. He was willing
to forfeit his life if the measure did not speedily terminate
the war and dissolve the " Congress Government."
For some reason the ministry did not adopt Lee's sug-
gestion, and the document was filed away among British
state papers, to bear testimony to the dishonesty of the
author three-quarters of a century after his death. 1
In the Spring, Sir William Howe, after complaining
that his government did not furnish him a sufficiency of
men and supplies, resigned his command, and Sir Henry
Clinton was appointed his successor. With the exception
of foraging parties, the British as yet made no military
May. movements. About this time came intelligence of the
passage of Lord North's conciliatory bills, and that the
commissioners would soon be on their way to open nego-
tiations. The substance of these bills was circulated very
extensively by zealous Tories. Congress ordered them to
1 ' ' Treason of General Charles Lee," by George H. Moore, Esq.
TREATY WITH FRANCE — BRITISH COMMISSIONERS. 493
be printed in the newspapers, accompanied by a severe £&£*■
criticism furnished by a committee of the House. 1
Presently came the news that France had acknowl- *J 78 -
edged the independence of the States, and had entered 30.
into a treaty with them of commerce and defence. The
light had dawned upon the American cause! A thrill
of joy went throughout the land.
The treaty between the United States and France May
produced a great sensation in England. It is madness to 5 *
protract the war! said the friends of America. Let us
acknowledge the independence of the States and obtain
their good will by liberal terms of commerce, lest our great
rival win them to herself. But no! the idea was scouted;
the war must be prosecuted, blood must still flow.
In June came the commissioners to treat under Lord
North's conciliatory bills. They were the Earl of Carlisle,
William Eden, brother of the late governor of Maryland,
and George Johnstone, formerly governor of Florida, and
who had been a friend of the Americans in Parliament.
The commissioners sent their proposals to Congress,
but that body refused to treat until the independence of
the States was acknowledged and the British troops with-
drawn. As the commissioners could not grant these de-
mands, negotiations were not commenced. Some of the
commissioners indirectly resorted to bribery, and by means
of a loyalist lady of Philadelphia, made propositions to
General Joseph Reed, of ten thousand pounds and any
office in the colonies he might choose if he would aid the
object of the mission. To which offer he made this mem-
orable reply: " I am not worth purchasing, but such as I
am, the king of England is not rich enough to buy me."
When it was known that a French fleet was expected
on the coast, the British hastened to evacuate Philadel-
phia and retreat to New York. Most of the stores, to- Jx *ne
gether with the sick and wounded, were sent round by
494 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, water, while the army, twelve thousand strong, took up
its line of march across New Jersey. Washington was
1778. soon j n pursuit. The weather was excessively warm, and
the heavily armed British moved very slowly. The Amer-
icans soon came up. A council of war was held, and the
question discussed, whether to attack the enemy and
bring on a general engagement, or merely harass them on
their march. Washington, with Greene and Lafayette,
was in favor of the former manner of attack, and Lee,
for some reason, strenuously advocated the latter. When
it was decided to bring on a general engagement, Lee, as
his advice had not been taken, declined to take any com-
mand in the affair.
Washington therefore sent Lafayette forward with
two thousand men, to take position on the hills, and thus
crowd Sir Henry Clinton off into the plain. The next
morning Lee had changed his mind, and asked to be given
a command. Washington sent him forward with two
brigades, and when he came up with Lafayette, being
of superior rank, he assumed the command of the entire
The British encamped near Monmouth Court-house.
There were morasses and groves of woods in the vicinity,
a difficult place in which to manoeuvre troops.
J 2g e When Lee advanced, he found a force of apparently
about two thousand on the march, but a portion of the
woods obstructed a .ull view. He made his arrangements
to cut off this force, and sent word of his movements to
Washington. But when he came upon the division, he
found it much stronger than he anticipated — in truth,
Clinton had thrown this strong force of German and Brit-
ish there for the express purpose of giving the Americans
a severe check.
The battle had scarcely begun, before occurred a mis-
apprehension of orders. The Americans began to retreat,
and Lee, in the hurry of the moment, forgot to send word
BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. 495
of the movement to Washington, who was advancing with chai»
the main body to his support. The retreat had passed
into almost a flight. When Washington met the troops 1778 -
he inquired why they were retreating. The reply was,
they did not know, but they had received the order. Sus-
pecting that this movement was designed to mar the plan
of attack, he spurred on, and presently met Lee, of whom
he demanded, in a stern manner: " What is the meaning
of all this, sir? " Lee, disconcerted, hesitated for a mo-
ment to reply, and was asked again. He then began to
explain that the confusion had arisen from disobedience
of orders; and, moreover, he did not wish to meet the
whole British army. Washington rejoined, " that he un-
derstood it was a mere covering party," adding: " I am
very sorry that you undertook the command unless you
meant to fight the enemy." Lee replied that he did not
think it prudent to bring on a general engagement.
" Whatever your opinion may have been," replied Wash-
ington disdainfully, " I expect my orders to be obeyed."
This conversation took but a moment.
Washington hastily formed the men on a rising
ground. The enemy came up in force, and other divi-
sions of the Americans also mingled in the conflict. Night
ended the battle. The Americans slept upon their arms,
expecting to renew the contest in the morning. But
Clinton skilfully drew off his army during the night, and
at daylight was far on his way. Washington did not at-
tempt to pursue, as the weather was intolerably warm,
and the march through a sandy region, destitute of water.
The Americans lost altogether about two hundred, many
of them on account of the extreme heat: the British
about three hundred in the battle, and on the march
two thousand Hessians deserted.
After refreshing his men, Washington marched across
New Jersey, passed the Hudson, and took position at
White Plains, to be ready to co-operate with the French
496 HISTORY OF THE AMERICA* PBOPL1.
chap fleet in an attack upon New York. Lord Howe had
'scarcely left the Delaware when Count D'Estaing ap-
1778. peared with a squadron. While at sea, D'Estaing com-
municated with Washington by letter. Finding that
the British had evacuated Philadelphia, he put to sea,
and soon anchored off Sandy Hook.
The day after the battle, Lee wrote a note, disre-
spectful in its tone, to Washington, who replied; and this
produced another note from Lee, still more offensive, de-
manding a court of inquiry, and in the mean time inti-
mating that he should retire from the army. The court
found him guilty of disobedience of orders and disrespect
to the Commander-in-chief, and sentenced him to be sus-
pended for one year from the army. He retired to his
estate in Virginia, and there beguiled his leisure in writing
scurrilous letters concerning the army and its commander.
When his sentence of suspension was about to expire, he,
for some fancied neglect, wrote an insolent letter to Con-
gress. That body immediately dismissed him from the
army. Thus ended the military career of General Charles
Lee. A few years afterward he died in Philadelphia. His
life had been that of the soldier; and in the delirium of
death he murmured, " Stand by me, my brave grena-
The French fleet brought Monsieur Gerard as ambas-
sador to the United States, and also Silas Deane, Doctor
Franklin and Arthur Lee, with whom, on the part of the
United States, the treaty had been made.
Howe ran his ships within the bay of New York, and
as the large vessels of the French could not pass the bar
at Sandy Hook, the combined attack upon the city was
abandoned. Instead, it was resolved to make an attack
upon Newport, on the island of Rhode Island. This was
a British stronghold and depot, and garrisoned by six
thousand men under General Pigot. The brutality of
these British troops had excited against them the bitterest
THE FAILURE AT NEWPORT. 497
hatred, and when called upon by General Sullivan, who ^gg^fy
was in command, thousands of the militia of the surround- 1
ing country flocked to avenge their wrongs. John Han- 1778 -
cock, on this occasion, led the Massachusetts militia, as
general. D'Estaing sailed to Newport, where he arrived
a week before the force sent by Washington under Greene
and Lafayette. This unavoidable delay ruined the enter-
prise. When the Americans appeared, the British guard
left the works on the north end of the island and retired
to their inner lines. The Americans immediately passed A £&-
over and occupied the abandoned works. The very day
of this occupancy, Lord Howe appeared with a fleet, and
D'Estaing went out to give him battle. They both ma-
noeuvred their fleets to obtain the advantage of position,
when a terrible storm arose and separated them. 12.
In the mean time the Americans moved near the ene-
my's works, and commenced to cannonade them, expect-
ing that the French fleet would soon return to their aid.
D'Estaing did return, but instead of landing the four 20
thousand troops on board, he set sail for Boston to refit
his vessels, which the late storm had shattered.
The Americans now abandoned their lines, and by
night retreated, repulsing the division of the enemy sent
in pursuit. It was time, for the British were strongly
reinforced from New York by four thousand troops, un-
der Clinton himself.
To deceive the enemy, and escape safely from the
island, Sullivan sent a party to occupy a hill in sight of
the British lines. The party began to throw up intrench-
ments, and in the evening pitched their tents; but as
soon as it was night they silently decamped, and in the
morning were all safely on the main land.
A great clamor arose because D'Estaing failed to co-
operate with the Americans at Newport. Subsequent
investigation seemed to justify him; at least, Congress
passed a resolution approving his conduct. This may,
498 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap however, have been mere policy, as Congress was unwill-
-A. A. -V 1 V .
- ing to offend the French by passing a vote of censure.
1778. The war degenerated into marauding expeditions
against defenceless villages. The first object of this bar-
barity was the island of Martha's Vineyard, whose in-
habitants were stripped of everything the robbers could
carry off. The towns of New Bedford and Fair Haven
Sept. were wantonly burned, and also seventy vessels in their
ports. Scenes of cruelty were enacted in New Jersey,
Oct. where an American regiment of horse was cut to pieces,
and a company of infantry, when crying for quarter,
was butchered with the bayonet without mercy.
When it was certainly known that a French fleet had
sailed to the United States, the English ministry sent
Admiral Byron in pursuit. He appeared off Boston har-
bor while the French were refitting, but did not dare at-
tack them, and the French were unwilling to come out of
their place of security. Lord Howe resigned his command
into the hands of Admiral Byron. At length a storm
arose which scattered the English fleet; then the French
Nov. slipped out of the harbor, and sailed to the West Indies.
On the same day, five thousand British troops sailed from
New York for the same destination. Three weeks after,
another expedition of three thousand sailed for Georgia;
yet the British army remaining was far more numerous
than the forces under Washington.
During the summer, one of the most atrocious out-
rages which disgraced the war was committed upon the
settlement of Wyoming, situated in a beautiful valley on
the Susquehanna. There had been previously much con-
tention among the inhabitants, some of whom were Tories.
These had been seized, and sent out of the settlement;
July, they took their revenge with more than savage ferocity.
After the defeat of St. Leger at Fort Schuyler, Fort
Niagara became the headquarters of Tories and Indians;
DESTRUCTION OF WYOMING. 499
at that place was planned the murderous expedition. Sg£fy
The party was guided by Tories who had lived in the val- '
ley. The chief leader in this expedition was John But- 17 78.
ler, a Tory notorious for his cruelty. His force, about
eleven hundred, was composed of his Rangers, Johnson's
Greens, and Mohawks. There were block-houses in the
settlement; to these the people fled in times of danger.
Nearly all the able-bodied men were absent in the army
under Washington. There were left only the women and
children, the aged and infirm. Suddenly the savage
enemy appeared at various points in the valley, and com-
menced murdering the husbandmen in the fields, and
burning the houses. It had been rumored that such an
attack was meditated, and a small force had already been
dispatched by Washington to defend the settlement.
They had themselves, under Zebulon Butler (no relation
of John Butler), about three hundred and fifty men.
Unfortunately, Butler did not wait the arrival of the re-
inforcement, but sallied forth to restrain the ravaging of
the country. Intelligence of this intended attack was
conveyed to the enemy, and they were fully prepared.
The fight began, and the Tories were forced to give way,
but the Indians passed round a swamp toward the rear.
Butler, seeing this movement, ordered his men to fall
back, lest they should be surrounded. This order was
mistaken for one to retreat; all was thrown into confusion,
and a portion, panic-stricken, fled. They were pursued
by the Tories and Indians with unrelenting fury. The
whole valley was desolated. Those of the people who
escaped, fled to the mountains, and there women and
children perished by hundreds, while some, after in-
credible sufferings, reached the settlements.
A month later, similar scenes were witnessed at Cherry
Valley, in New York. The Tories and Indians were
equally as cruel as at the Wyoming massacre. The peo- Aug.
pie were either murdered or carried into captivity. All
500 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, the region of the upper Susquehanna, the Delaware, and
! the Mohawk, was at the mercy of the savages.
1778. j n the latter part of November, Clinton sent Colonel
Campbell, with two thousand men, to invade Georgia.
He landed three miles below Savannah, the capital, on
the twenty-ninth of December.
General Robert Howe, who was in command, could
make but little resistance. He and his men behaved
nobly, but a negro guiding the British by a path through
a swamp, they gained the rear of the Americans, who
were now thrown into confusion and defeated. The town
of Savannah fell into the hands of the victors.
General Prevost, who commanded in East Florida,
was ordered by Clinton to pass across to Savannah, and
there join Campbell and assume the command. On his
march, Prevost took Sunbury, a fort of some importance.
Arriving at Savannah, he sent Campbell to take posses-
sion of Augusta. Thus was Georgia subdued, in the space
of a few weeks. The British now transferred their active
operations to the South, which became the principal
theatre of the war till its close.
General Benjamin Lincoln, who had been appointed
to take command of the Southern Department, arrived
about this time. The delegates from South Carolina
and Georgia had solicited his appointment.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION— CONTINUED.
Dissensions in Congress. — Expedition against the Indians. — The
War in the South. — Augusta reoccupied. — Charleston threat-
ened. — Marauding Expeditions sent to Virginia, and up the
Hudson. — Try on ravages Connecticut. — Capture of Stony Point
by Wayne. — Lee surprises the Garrison at Jersey City. — Com-
bined assault upon Savannah. — Daniel Boone; Kentucky. —
George Rogers Clarke; Kaskaskia. — Pioneers of Tennessee;
Nashville. — John Paul Jones.
The American army was distributed, at the end of the chap.
year, in a series of cantonments, which extended from the '_
east end of Long Island Sound to the Delaware; thus 1779.
effectually enclosing the British forces. The head-quarters
were in a central position at Middlebrook, New Jersey.
The British were so strong at New York and Newport,
that to attack them with success was hopeless. The
French fleet had been of no practical use to the Ameri-
cans, and now Count D'Estaing took with him his land
troops to the West Indies.
Four years had passed since the war commenced; the
finances of the country were still in a wretched condition.
The enemy held important places, and were watching for
opportunities to pillage. In the South, the Tories were
specially active. Yet there were other elements at work,
more injurious to the cause than even these.
Congress was filled with dissensions. The prospect
502 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, of assistance from France caused many to relax their
efforts, as though the war was virtually ended. Wash-
1779. i n gton wrote, at the beginning of the year: " Our affairs
are in a more distressed, ruinous, and deplorable condition
than they have been since the commencement of the war."
A large majority of Congress was carried away with the
scheme of joining with the French in an expedition against
Canada. But when the matter was laid before the Com-
mander-in-chief, at a glance he saw the difficulties of the
undertaking, and, with the comprehensive views of the
true statesman, pointed out the disadvantages of having,
on this continent, a power different in nation, in religion,
and in customs from the Americans. Moreover, he de-
sired the people of the United States to be as little under
obligations as possible to other nations.
For the ensuing campaign, it was evident the British
intended to confine themselves to pillaging expeditions,
and to cripple the Union in the South. Washington now
recommended an expedition against the Indians, to pun-
ish them for their outrages at Wyoming and other places.
It was to be conducted on their own plan— to invade
and lay waste their territory.
In April a body of troops suddenly invaded and deso-
lated the territory of the Onondagas. The principal ex-
pedition, under Sullivan, went against the Senecas, to
revenge their attack on Wyoming. With five thousand
men he penetrated their country, met them under Brant,
with their worthy allies, the Tories, Johnson and Butler,
at Newtown, now Elmira and completely routed them.
29 s ' Without giving them time to recover from their panic,
Sullivan pursued them into the valley of the Genesee,
and in a few weeks destroyed more than forty of their
villages, all their cornfields, gardens, and orchards. It
was a terrible vengeance; but the only means to prevent
their depredations on the settlements.
CHARLESTON THREATENED. 503
Want of food compelled the Indians and Tories to chap.
emigrate to Canada, yet they soon after renewed their - -
depredations, and continued them, with their usual fero- 1779 -
city, till the end of the war. In the meanwhile, another
successful expedition was conducted against the Indian
towns on the Alleghany, above Pittsburg.
As in the North, so in the South, the British entered
into alliances with the Indians — there they induced the
Creeks to join them. The Tories desolated the upper
part of Georgia; but as they drew near Augusta, Colonel
Pickens suddenly attacked and routed them. Seventy-
five were made prisoners and condemned to death, as
traitors; however, only five were executed. Feb.
The next month, General Lincoln sent General Ashe,
with two thousand men, to drive Campbell from Augusta.
Campbell, hearing of his approach, retreated in haste,
and Ashe pursued, but was himself surprised, some days
after, and his entire force dispersed. The British now
reoccupied Augusta, and opened a communication with
the Cherokees and the South Carolina Tories.
While Lincoln recruited his army, Prevost marched
slowly in the direction of Charleston; and Lincoln hast-
ened to the aid of that city. The inhabitants were
indefatigable in their exertions to give the foe a warm
reception. They threw up intrenchments across the neck May.
of the peninsula, on which their city stood. Presently,
Prevost arrived and summoned them to surrender, but
they boldly refused.
He prepared to enter upon a regular siege, but hearing
of the approach of Lincoln, he first ravaged the planta-
tions in the vicinity, carried off an immense amount of
plunder, and three or four thousand slaves, and then re-
treated toward Savannah, by way of the islands along the
coast. As the hot season approached, hostilities ceased. June.
While these events were in progress in the South,
Clinton was fulfilling his instructions from the ministry
504 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, to send out plundering expeditions. One of these, under
J General Mathews, he sent from New York, with twenty-
1 J, 79 ' five hundred men, into Virginia. The fleet entered the
8. Chesapeake, the troops landed, and plundered the towns
of Portsmouth and Norfolk. A little higher up, at Gos-
port, was established a navy-yard by the State; there
they burned one hundred and thirty merchant ships, and
several war- vessels on the stocks. The facilities afforded
the enemy by the rivers to pass from point to point, and
the danger of the slaves rising, prevented much resist-
When these soldiers returned, Clinton went up the
Hudson, against the posts Verplanck's and Stony Points.
These forts protected King's Ferry, a very important
crossing-place, on the main road from the eastern to the
middle States. The works at Stony Point — not yet fin-
ished — were abandoned; and the garrison at Verplanck's
Point were forced to surrender.
The next expedition, of twenty-five hundred men, was
under Tryon, whose barbarities, on such occasions, have
justly rendered his name infamous. Tryon plundered
New Haven, and burned Fairfield and Norwalk. In the
J uly course of a few days he burned two hundred and twenty-
five private dwellings, half as many barns and stores, and
five places of worship. Many of the inhabitants were
murdered or subjected to the brutal passions of the sol-
diers. This "journeyman of desolation," so insensible to
the promptings of humanity, contemplated these out-
rages with pleasure, and afterward even claimed for him-
self the honor of having exercised mercy, because he did
not burn every dwelling on the coast of New England.
Clinton had been grossly deceived by the Tories, who
assured him that the principal inhabitants of Connecticut
were so much dissatisfied because their homes were not
protected by the American army, that they were about to
withdraw from the cause, and put themselves under Brit-
CAPTURE OF STONY POINT. 505
ish protection. And it was thought a few more such chap.
expeditions would accomplish this result. 1
Washington now devised a plan to recapture Stony 1779 -
Point. The fort was so situated, that to surprise it seemed
an impossibility. He proposed to General Wayne — ' ' Mad
Anthony" — to undertake the desperate enterprise. The
proposal was accepted with delight. Washington himself,
accompanied by Wayne, carefully reconnoitred the Point.
The attempt was to be made at the hour of midnight.
Every precaution to secure success was taken, even the
dogs of the neighborhood were privately destroyed. A
negro, who was in the habit of visiting the fort to sell
fruit, and also as a spy for the Americans, was to act as
guide. j u ly
The men, with fixed bayonets, and, to remove the pos- 16 -
sibility of discovery, with unloaded muskets, approached
in two divisions, at the appointed hour. The negro,
accompanied by two soldiers, disguised as farmers, ap-
proached the outer sentinel and gave the countersign.
The sentinel was seized and gagged, and the second
treated in the same manner; at the third, the alarm was
given, but the impetuosity of the Americans was so great,
that in a few minutes the two divisions from the opposite
sides of the fort met in the centre. They took more than
five hundred prisoners. This was one of the most brilliant
exploits of the war. How great was the contrast between
the humanity of Wayne and the savage cruelty of the
British in their midnight attacks with the bayonet !
Stedman, the British historian, records that " the con-
duct of the Americans upon this occasion was highly
meritorious, for they would have been fully justified in
putting the garrison to the sword; not one man of which
was put to death but in fair combat." When Clinton
heard of the taking of Stony Point, he hastily recalled
Tryon, who was about to move against New London.
The exploit of Wayne was speedily followed by another
506 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap, daring adventure by Light Horse Harry. He had learned
'. by reconnoitring, and by means of spies, the exact condi-
1779 - tion of the garrison at Paulus Hook, now Jersey City,
opposite New York. Thinking themselves secure from
attack, because of their nearness to the main army, the
officers, as well as men, were careless. Lee asked permis-
jg^' sion to strike a blow within " cannon-shot of New York."
Washington directed him " to surprise the fort, bring off
the garrison immediately, and effect a retreat," and not
to linger, lest he should himself be overpowered. About
two o'clock in the morning they made themselves masters
of the fort, and secured one hundred and fifty prisoners,
with a loss to themselves of only two men. Soon alarm
guns roused the garrison in New York, and Lee Com-
menced his retreat. The exploit redounded much to his
credit, and that of his company of horse. In compliment,
Congress voted Wayne, as well as Lee, a gold medal.
An effort w T as again made to take Savannah. Count
D'Estaing appeared with his fleet from the West Indies,
and General Lincoln marched to aid in the siege. Several
North Carolina regiments had been sent by the Com-
mander-in-chief, and the militia turned out well. Prevost
made every exertion to defend himself. But D'Estaing
soon grew impatient; he must return to the West Indies
lest the British fleet might accomplish some enterprise of
importance. The siege must be either abandoned, or the
Oct. town taken by assault. The latter was resolved upon;
9 - and it was undertaken with great disadvantages staring
the assailants in the face. After they had carried some
of the outworks, the Americans were forced to retire.
Count Pulaski, when gallantly leading his men, was mor-
tally wounded. The French, who were at the post of the
greatest danger, were also repulsed, and D'Estaing him-
self was wounded. Lincoln now retreated to Charleston,
disbanded the militia, and the Count sailed to the West
Indies. Thus, for the second time, the French, under the
EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH — DANIEL BOONE. 507
same officer, failed to co-operate efficiently with the chap.
Americans. Very great dissatisfaction was excited at *
this throughout the country. 1779 »
Clinton obeyed his instructions from home, evacuated
Newport, and concentrated his main force at New York,
which place he thought in danger of a combined attack
from the Americans and French. In truth, Washing-
ton, in expectation of such aid, had called out the militia
for that purpose, but when he heard that the French had
sailed for the West Indies, he dismissed them, and went
into winter-quarters near Morris town, New Jersey. ^5"
When the coast was clear, Clinton sent seven thou-
sand men by sea to Savannah, and soon after sailed him-
self with two thousand more, leaving a powerful garrison
in New York, under the command of Knyphausen. 29°'
Some years before the commencement of the war,
Daniel Boone, the bold hunter and pioneer, had visited
the region of Kentucky. Attracted by the fertility of the
soil, the beauty of the forests, and the mildness of the
climate, in connection with others he formed a settlement
on the Kentucky river. Thither Boone took his wife and
daughters, the first white women in that region. There, 1773 «
during the war, these bold pioneers were in perils, fight-
ing the Indians and levelling the forests. Harrod, an-
other bold backwoodsman, founded Harrodsburg. The
territory on the lower Kentucky had been purchased of
the Cherokees. Though Dunmore, the governor of Vir-
ginia, denounced the purchase as illegal, yet in spite of
his proclamation, and the hostility of the Indians, the
people, in numbers, emigrated to that delightful region.
The Indians at the West were becoming hostile under
the influence of British emissaries. The principal actor
in this was Hamilton, the commandant at Detroit, against
which place Congress resolved to send an expedition.
508 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
chap. While this was under consideration, George Rogers Clarke,
' an adventurous Virginian, set out from Pittsburg on an
1779. expedition against Kaskaskia, an old French town on the
Mississippi. Clarke, though a backwoodsman of Ken-
tucky, acted under the authority of Virginia. With two
hundred men he floated in boats down the Ohio to the
Falls, and there, on an island, thirteen families, his follow-
ers, made a settlement. Joined by some Kentuckians, he
proceeded down the river, to near its mouth. Then hiding
his canoes, the company struck through the woods to Kas-
kaskia. This town was claimed by the English since the
surrender of Canada. The inhabitants were at once con-
ciliated when they heard of the alliance between the
United States and France, and when they saw their re-
1778 ligion respected and their property protected. Clarke
July, also entered into friendly relations with the Spaniards
west of the Mississippi at St. Louis. When he returned
to the Falls, he built a stockade fort on the south side of
the Ohio; this was the germ of the present city of Louis-
ville. Virginia claimed the region north of the Ohio, as
conquered territory, erected it into the county of Illinois,
and made arrangements to keep possession of it.
Other bold pioneers were, about the same time, pene-
trating the wilderness further south. James Robertson,
from North Carolina, who, eleven years before, led emi-
grants to settle on the head-waters of the Tennessee, now,
May. with a company, crossed over into the valley of the Cum-
berland. They passed down that river till they found a
desirable location, a bluff on its south shore. The com-
pany altogether amounted to nearly fifty persons. There,
in the midst of the primeval forest, more than a hundred
miles from the nearest settlement, they cleared some land
and planted corn. Three of their number remained to
guard the growing crop, and the others returned to bring
their families. Emigration now began : one party set out
through the wilderness, driving their cattle before them;
NASHVILLE — JOHN PAUL JONES. 509
another, with the women and children, went on board of xxxv.
boats, on the head-waters of the Tennessee. They were
to pass down that river to its mouth, thence find their
way up the Cumberland to the chosen spot. A laborious
journey of more than six months brought them to their
anxious friends. The settlement increased with great
rapidity, notwithstanding the hostility of the Indians.
Such were the beginnings of the now prosperous and
beautiful city of Nashville.
Congress, from time to time, made efforts to increase
the Continental navy, but many of the vessels had been
iost. The privateers had aroused the ire and the vigi-
lance of the entire British navy. Yet some American
cruisers, fitted out in France, fearlessly sailed in quest of
the enemy. The most distinguished of these command-
ers was John Paul Jones, a native of Scotland, but who
had been brought to Virginia in childhood. He was one
of the first officers commissioned by Congress for the
navy. Jones, in command of the Ranger, of eighteen
guns, spread terror around England, and even made a
descent on the coast of Scotland.
A small squadron of five French and American ships
was fitted out at Lorient, and placed under his com-
mand, to cruise in the British seas. Off the coast of
Scotland, he met with a fleet of merchantmen, convoyed
by a frigate and another armed vessel. It was night, and Sept
the battle, the most desperate in the annals of naval war- 23 -
fare, lasted three hours. Jones lashed his flag-ship, the
Richard, to the British frigate Serapis, and thus, muzzle
to muzzle, they poured into each other their broadsides.
At length, both the English ships surrendered. Jones'
flag-ship vas so damaged, that in a few hours it went to
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